Sol­diers’ joy

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - Front Page -

Grad­u­ates of the U.S. Mil­i­tary Acad­emy cel­e­brate at the end of cer­e­monies Sat­ur­day in West Point, N.Y. Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence ad­dressed the new sec­ond lieu­tenants, telling them the world is “a dan­ger­ous place” and that “it is a vir­tual cer­tainty” they will see com­bat. “Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemi­sphere,” he said.

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence told the most diverse grad­u­at­ing class in the his­tory of the U.S. Mil­i­tary Acad­emy on Sat­ur­day that the world is “a dan­ger­ous place” and they should ex­pect to see com­bat.

“Some of you will join the fight against rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ists in Afghanista­n and Iraq,” he said.

Pence con­grat­u­lated the West Point grad­u­ates on be­half of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

More than 980 cadets be­came Army sec­ond lieu­tenants in the cer­e­mony at West Point’s foot­ball sta­dium.

Pence noted that Trump has pro­posed a $750 bil­lion de­fense bud­get for 2020 and said the United States “is once again em­brac­ing our role as the leader of the free world.”

“It is a vir­tual cer­tainty that you will fight on a bat­tle­field for Amer­ica at some point in your life,” Pence said. “You will lead sol­diers in com­bat. It will hap­pen. Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemi­sphere.”

The class was the most diverse in West Point’s his­tory, and Pence said he wanted to ac­knowl­edge “the his­toric mile­stones that we’re mark­ing to­day.”

The 2019 cadets in­cluded 34 black women and 223 women, both all-time highs since the first fe­male cadets grad­u­ated in 1980. The acad­emy grad­u­ated its 5,000th woman Sat­ur­day.

AP/JULIUS CON­STAN­TINE MOTAL

AP/JULIUS CON­STAN­TINE MOTAL

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence holds a sword pre­sented as a gift dur­ing Sat­ur­day’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony at the U.S. Mil­i­tary Acad­emy in West Point, N.Y.

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