Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued his Fourth of July message to troops, civilian employees and their families Wednesday and asked the American public not to forget "our brave men and women in uniform continue to protect our freedoms that were first outlined in that Declaration. They serve our nation proudly and they are willing to put their lives on the line so that our children can have a better future."
He added that while many Americans, "will spend this holiday with family and friends enjoying summer weather, fireworks, and outdoor barbeques, others will be on the front lines defending our country."
"Today, in particular, the American people pay tribute to those of you deployed overseas for your strength, your courage, and your willingness to put your lives on the line to protect this country," Panetta said.
Sara A. Carter is The Washington Examiner's national security correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.