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Secretary Of The Army Visits Fort Bragg Troops

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey, who reports directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and advises the president, spent the day at Fort Bragg Thursday, speaking to the 82nd Airborne Division.

Harvey's visit was part of All-American Week, the division's annual celebration of its history.

"No matter the time, the place, or the difficulty, our country's leaders know that you always, and, I mean, always, accomplish your mission," he told paratroopers. "You are driven, I believe, by a love of country, a devotion to duty, and (a) willingness to sacrifice everything so others might live in peace and freedom."

Harvey talked about recruiting and how the 82nd Airborne met all of its hiring goals since this time last year. He also touched on deployments and the role the 82nd played these past 12 months. The soldiers not only deployed overseas, but also spent weeks on the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Fort Bragg soldiers said they liked the speech.

"It was very, very enthusiastic (to) know that he cares ... he supports us, he's there for us," said SPC Yolanda Banks.

Harvey mentioned one paratrooper by name -- Staff SGT Travis Nixon. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2005 and laid to rest in Raleigh.

This was Harvey's second official visit since becoming Secretary of the Army.


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