I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Jack Murtha. From the battlefields of Vietnam to the hills of Western Pennsylvania to the halls of Congress, Jack Murtha lived by the Marine Corps credo "Semper Fidelis," never wavering in his faithful commitment to the country he loved and the men and women who bravely defend her. In war and in peace, he fought for what he knew was right, even when it was unpopular. He was a fierce advocate for working families struggling with a changing economy and for better health care and equipment for service members. And over the course of more than three decades in Congress, he became one of our nation's most respected voices on national security and foreign policy. Presidents of both parties sought his advice and generations of colleagues looked to him for leadership and wisdom. As Senator from New York serving on the Armed Services Committee, I was fortunate to call Jack a friend and mentor. And as Secretary of State, I continued to rely on his expertise and judgment. I knew that Jack would always shoot straight, like the Marine he was, and never shy away from a difficult question or a tough fight. Today our country has lost a decorated war hero and a distinguished public servant. The men and women of our armed forces have lost a tireless champion. And the people of Pennsylvania's 12th district have lost a neighbor, an advocate, and a true friend. My thoughts and prayers are with them and with Jack's beloved wife Joyce and their family. He will be sorely missed.
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