Nearly 600 U.S. Troops Reenlist in Baghdad on Independence Day
By Marine Sgt. Jess Kent
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 4, 2007 -- Hundreds of troops gathered at Al Faw Palace for the Multi-National Force-Iraq Reenlistment, Naturalization and Independence Day Ceremony today at Camp Victory. During the ceremony, 588 troops reenlisted and 161 were naturalized as American citizens.
Army Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, MNF-I, gave opening remarks before administering the Oath of Enlistment."This morning we pay tribute to the American ideals we all hold so dear in several significant ways," he said.
"First, by conducting what surely is the largest reenlistment event ever held in Iraq and perhaps in our Armed Forces' history, then by celebrating the granting of American citizenship to a group of troopers who have already pledged their loyalty to our nation by putting their lives on the line for it, and finally by observing the 231st birthday of our great country," he said.
Petraeus said the troops who reenlisted on Independence Day, most while serving on a second or third deployment to a combat zone, have made a decision based on far more than any bonus they may receive.
Here is video of the ceremony: