How Mattis Spent His Birthday Weekend Is The Definition Of Service

Benny Johnson | Reporter At Large

Secretary of Defense James Mattis turned 68 this weekend.

The legendary Marine chose to celebrate his birth in a stereotypically Mattis way: by visiting troops in a dangerous war zone. Mattis made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on September 7th, just a day before his birthday. The purpose of the unannounced visit was to meet with troops and commanders on the ground in the war-torn capitol of Kabul.

The Department of Defense announced the trip, coinciding with Mattis’s birthday weekend, via Twitter. Mattis made the trip as part of a larger Department of Defense tour of countries in the greater region.

Mattis was joined by United States Army command sergeant major John Troxell and Chairman of the Joint Chief’s Gen. Dunford on the trip. During the unannounced trip, Mattis spoke to the troops and signed memorabilia and flags for the soldiers.

 

 

 

The photos of Mattis’s birthday trip are a powerful reminder of what the definition of service is.

Lisa Ferdinando/ Department of Defense

Lisa Ferdinando/ Department of Defense

Lisa Ferdinando/ Department of Defense

Lisa Ferdinando/ Department of Defense

James Mattis was born on September 8, 1950, in Pullman, Washington. Of his 68 years on earth, over 40 of them have been spent in the service of his country.

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