by Julio Rosas, Townhall

Not only has Secretary of Defense James Mattis defended the deployment of active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to multiple migrant caravans, but he responded to criticism of the military being deployed through Thanksgiving.

“And you believe that these forces are going to be deployed, you know, through Thanksgiving, potentially through Christmas. What would you say to their families, who are wondering how long this deployment's going to last,” a reporter asked while on route to Texas.

“Yeah. I mean, I've got the troops deployed from Syria and Iraq to the Pacific,” Mattis replied, according to the DOD transcript. “They're out in the Atlantic. You saw that we just finished one of the largest NATO exercises, and the troops have just — the ships have just pulled into our NATO ally, Portugal's port of Lisbon. We are going to continue to have troops deployed, and this is just for our military.”

“Rain or shine, light or dark, cold weather or hot weather — we have an all-weather force that's on duty 24/7,” he continued. “Drive around the Pentagon on Thanksgiving Day, and look at the number of cars in the parking lot of people who work right through the holidays. Some of you were with me when we were at Guantanamo Bay last Thanksgiving timeframe. Troops were down there.”

“Kind of, all I can say to the American people: Welcome to your military. It's on duty,” Mattis concluded.

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