FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. —President Obama on Friday privately thanked some of the special military operators who killed Osama bin Laden. "Job well done," he said of their daring raid.
In a series of closed-door meetings, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with some of the special operations forces who went on Monday's early morning raid in Pakistan, and with members of the broader assault force that supported the mission.
"I came here for a simple reason: to say thank you on behalf of America," Obama told soldiers at Fort Campbell, the home of the 101st Airborne Division, after his private meetings.
"Thanks to the incredible skill and courage of countless individuals, intelligence, military, over many years, the terrorist leader who struck our nation on 9/11 will never threaten America again," he said.
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"I promised that our nation will never forget those we lost that dark September day," he told about 2,000 troops of his visit to New York on Thursday.
"And today, here at Fort Campbell, I had the privilege of meeting the extraordinary special ops folks who honored that promise," he said. "It was a chance for me to say, on behalf of all Americans and people around the world, job well done. Job well done."
He linked their work to the work of all the forces at the base, many of them just back from tours in Afghanistan.
"Like all of you, they could have chosen a life of ease," Obama told the soldiers. "But like you, they volunteered. They chose to serve in a time of war, knowing they could be sent into harm's way. They trained for years. They're battle-hardened. They practiced tirelessly for this mission. And when I gave the order, they were ready."
"... These Americans deserve credit for one of the greatest intelligence-military operations in our nation's history. But so does every person who wears America's uniform, the finest military the world has ever known. And that includes all of you men and women of 101st."