The Next Greatest Generation

Army Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, deputy commanding general of US Forces-Iraq, on Wednesday thanked US troops for their service in Iraq, calling Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn veterans “the next greatest generation.” He said: “Words cannot begin to express the pride I feel about America’s military performance and service in Iraq.” Helmick’s comments to the Pentagon press corps came on the same day that Americans marked the 70th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. “The significance of this day doesn’t escape me,” said Helmick in USF-I’s final news briefing from Baghdad before the US military pullout from Iraq is completed by year’s end. World War II veterans often are referred to as “the greatest generation.” Via the Iraq war, “America discovered the next greatest generation,” asserted Helmick. He called the 18-month US military drawdown “simply historic.” With roughly three weeks left until the last US troops leave, violence in Iraq is at an eight-year low, reported Helmick. However, Iraq’s security future remains uncertain. “We really don’t know what is going to happen, but we know we’ve done everything we can for the Iraqi security forces,” he said. (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel) (Helmick transcript)