Defense Secretary James N. Mattis spoke for all members of the Defense Department in expressing sorrow for the passing of President George H. W. Bush today during his remarks at the Reagan Defense Forum in California.
The former president died yesterday at age 94.
The secretary called Bush a true patriot.
“In the Department of Defense we saw him as one of our own, for obvious reasons,” Mattis said. “[He was] one of the youngest aviators in our history. [He was] decorated for valor. [He was] a warrior and a statesman.”
Bush dedicated more than four decades of his life to public service. “He taught us how to live a life without regret, by everything he did,” Mattis said. “He was always enthusiastic. He was always out to give 100 percent.”
“But more importantly, for all of us who need role models – and I think that is the human condition –he always put others first – whether that was his family, his shipmates at sea [or] his country. He always put others first,” the defense secretary said.
“All of us in the Department of Defense join with his family in remembering his unwavering service to our nation,” he said.