We are devastated to learn of the death of General Raymond Odierno, US Army retired. Ray was a giant in military circles – he was primarily and always dedicated to the soldiers he commanded and served with. And by serving our nation in uniform for nearly four decades, he has helped make the US Army the modern combat force it is today – an army that, in Odierno’s words, “is admired and deeply respected by our allies” and ” “is feared by our opponents.”
When we think back to our time as Vice President and Second Lady, Ray was part of our most poignant memories – memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Ray welcomed us to Camp Victory, Iraq, where, in honor of July 4th, we helped swear in as American citizens in our country’s immigrants who already served, fought, and sacrificed on our nation’s behalf. He was there to share his knowledge as a member of the Long Gray Line with the graduates of West Point. Ray and his wife, Linda, have been partners and passionate advocates of military children and families. And we will forever be grateful for the words and kindness Ray shared as he spoke at our beloved son Beau’s funeral and awarded him the Legion of Merit.
We cannot imagine anyone who embodies this fundamental creed of duty, honor and land better than General Ray Odierno. He made our entire nation better, stronger, and safer. We include his beloved wife Linda, their children Tony, Mike and Katie and their grandchildren in our prayers. Ray was Beau’s commander in Iraq, and he was there in our moment of deepest sadness. We stand with the Odierno family and all of our brave soldiers who were shaped and shaped by General Odierno during his service and who continue to mourn today. Today is a sad day for our nation. We have lost a hero of great integrity and honor.