Gates, Mullen Praise Efforts of Troops, Families, Vets

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen speaks at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride on the National Mall, May 29, 2011. An estimated 250,000 motorcycles ride during the weekend observance, which has evolved into a demonstration of patriotism for soldiers and veterans from all wars. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates speaks at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride on the National Mall May 29, 2011. An estimated 250,000 motorcycles participate in the weekend observance, which has evolved into a demonstration of patriotism for soldiers and veterans from all wars. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III

By Fred W. Baker III, American Forces Press Service

 

WASHINGTON – Flanked by the memorials of wars past, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today said he has had no greater honor than serving and leading the U.S. military.  

“I will always keep them in my heart and my prayers as long as I live,” Gates, who retires next month, told thousands of troops, families and veterans gathered for the annual Memorial Day weekend Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride.

Rolling Thunder began in 1987 as a demonstration to bring awareness to the plight of prisoners of war and those missing in action. Today more than 250,000 motorcycles participate in the weekend observance, which has evolved into a patriotic demonstration for soldiers and veterans from all wars.

Gates praised the efforts of the organization for ensuring the sacrifices of the military and families are recognized, honored and never forgotten.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen speaks at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride on the National Mall, May 29, 2011. An estimated 250,000 motorcycles ride during the weekend observance, which has evolved into a demonstration of patriotism for soldiers and veterans from all wars. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III

“For most Americans, Memorial Day weekend is a respite from work,” he said. “But for those of us gathered here, it is an affirmation of our commitment to remember those heroes who have fought and died or who have been captured in defense of our nation — not just this weekend but every day of our lives.”

The United States has a sacred obligation to those who have borne the heavy burden of service in the past, the secretary said.

“The men and women now protecting us on the front lines gain comfort knowing that if today they are missing or captured, we will not rest until they are accounted for and welcomed home to the honor they deserve, even as the conflicts recede into history,” he said.

Gates said today’s troops will join the likes of the veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam as a heroic generation that battled in far away lands to preserve the freedom and security of the United States.

“The American people can never repay the debt they owe to those who have fought and served, and to their family members who have stood so strong at home,” he said. “Your work, and the sound of your bikes, reminds them of the costs incurred, the blood spilt, and the enduring need to maintain a strong military in a dangerous world.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen introduced Gates at the event. The chairman, himself a Vietnam War veteran, gave a special “shout out” to his fellow vets.

“One of the things that I have seen over the course of these two wars that we’re in is my generation stand up in a way that many of us were not allowed to back in Vietnam for lots of reasons, so I’m particularly proud to be a Vietnam vet,” he said.

Mullen said such events demonstrate to those serving now that America is still connected to its military members.

“Everywhere I go these days … the troops ask me one thing, ‘Are the American people with us?’ And I can unequivocally answer that, yes, the American people are with our troops,” he said. “Based on what I see here today and what’s going on over this weekend, that answer is very obvious.”

Supporting the troops is important during their service, but it is equally important to continue that support after their military obligation ends, Mullen said.

“We can never forget their service,” he said. “We can never forget them as a nation, and you and many others keep that vigil, keep that very important part of who we are as a nation front and center. And I will be forever grateful that you do.” 
 
Biographies:
Robert M. Gates
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen 

LABOR COMMISSIONER ISSUES REMINDER ON CHILD LABOR LAWS

US Fed News Service, Including US State News June 6, 2008 The Maine Department of Labor issued the following news release: go to site child labor laws

With the school year coming to a close, many Maine teens are looking ahead to summer vacation and summer job plans. With that in mind, Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman this week reminded employers, teens, and parents of child labor laws protecting young workers and the process for obtaining a Work Permit in Maine.

Approximately 30,000 Maine teens aged 16-19 will participate in the labor force this year with either a full-time or part-time job. Nearly 4,500 teens under the age of 16 will be employed with a work permit.

“Summer jobs provide an opportunity for teen workers to earn extra spending money and learn basic job responsibilities. Child labor laws and work permits help ensure that these early working experiences are positive and that teens are safe on the job,” said Fortman.

Child labor laws prevent teen workers from working excessive hours. Schedules are restricted for all workers under 18, but only teens under 16 years old need work permits. (See below for legal work hours for teens.) Employers may not employ minors in jobs that expose them to dangerous working conditions. Some of the jobs Maine teens under 18 years old cannot do include operating most mechanical equipment, driving for work, and working alone in a cash-based business.

The Maine Child Labor Poster which is required in all workplaces provides additional information on child labor protections and is available for download on the Maine Department of Labor website at www.maine.gov/labor/posters.

All minors under 16 must have a Work Permit in order to work, whether or not they attend school. They must have a job offer before applying for a Work Permit. Teens can request a Work Permit at the office of the superintendent of the school district in which they live. The school district sends the completed application to the Maine Department of Labor for approval. New work permits are needed for each new job. Teens can have two work permits (for two different jobs) in summer, but only one permit during the school year. this web site child labor laws

Parents and employers can help expedite the approval process by making sure each request includes proof of age and parental approval. The application must contain the specific job title (e.g. “dishwasher” and “desk clerk” are acceptable, but “laborer” is too general). The name of the business on the permit must be the actual business name, which may be different than what people commonly call it.

For a free copy of the A Guide to Maine Laws Governing the Employment of Minors or for more information on work hours for teens, Work Permits, or prohibited occupations, call the Maine Department of Labor at 623-7900 (TTY: 1-800-794-1110).

LEGAL WORK HOURS FOR TEENS IN MAINE 14 AND 15 YEAR OLDS (must have work permit) * May not work more than 6 days in a row.

* When school is in session, they may not work during school hours or before 7 am or after 7 pm. Hours are limited to 3 hours a day on school days, including Fridays, and 18 hours a week.

* When school is not in session, they may not work before 7 am or after 9 pm. Hours are limited to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.

16 & 17 YEAR OLDS (enrolled in school, inc. home-school) * May not work more than 6 days in a row.

* When school is in session, they may not work before 7 a.m. on a school day or 5 a.m. on a non-school day. May not work after 10 p.m. the night before a school day or after midnight on a day that does not precede a school day. Hours are limited to 20 hours a week or 28 hours in a week with an unscheduled school closure. On any given school day, work is limited to 4 hours a day or 8 hours on last day of school week or an unscheduled school closure day.

* When school is not in session, hours are limited to under 10 hours a day and no more than 50 hours a week.

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