Obama: 'Our Obligations To You, Your Families Have Only Just Begun'

The president discusses the end of Afghan combat operations on a surprise Memorial Day visit to our troops overseas.
5:34 | 05/25/14

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Transcript for Obama: 'Our Obligations To You, Your Families Have Only Just Begun'
All of you. I'm not a single mention and that -- to thank you for extraordinary service. I thank you -- -- as your commander in chief. Because -- inspire me. Your willingness to serve. To step forward at a time of war and say send me. Here's the reason the United States -- strong and free. -- -- the -- that I have as serving as president nothing matches. Serving as your commander in chief. But I'm also here representing. 300 M million Americans. Who want to say thank you as well. -- I know sometimes. When you're over here. Away from home away from family. You may not surely. Absorb. How much the folks back home -- think about. So why -- why didn't know when it comes to supporting your your family's. The American people stand united. We support -- We are proud of it. We stand and all of your service. And you can see it. I am American actions every single day you see it and the kids across America. Who -- you all those care packages and -- -- Girl Scout Cookies. Those are very popular on. -- -- -- -- All right. Although you'll get some more now. But -- all clear because after more than a decade of war -- at a pivotal moment. -- last year marked a major milestone. For the first time Afghan forces. Took believe me to secure. Their own country. And today you're in a support role and helping to train and assist Afghan forces. For many -- -- this will be your last tour in Afghanistan. Am. The end of this year the transition will be complete. And Afghans will take full responsibility. For their security and our combat mission. Will be don't. America's war in Afghanistan. Will come to a responsible end. In four years ago on my first visit to Bob -- as president I laid out our mission and general Don Burk and ambassador Cunningham. Just gave me a briefing on your progress and today every single one of -- Everybody was served here and all the members of our coalition can be proud because you are completing our mission. -- your completing the mission. We said that we were gonna deny al-Qaeda safe haven. And since then we have decimated Al qaeda's leadership in the tribal regions. And our troops -- -- -- played a central role in supporting our counterterrorism operations. Including the one that deliver justice to Osama bin Laden. Am. Along with our intelligence personnel -- helped prevent attacks. And save American lives back home. Al-Qaeda is on its heels in this part of the world. And that's because of you. We know that this progress has come at a heavy price. Tomorrow's Memorial Day. The bases here in Afghanistan in the towns across America. We will pause. Will pay tribute to all those -- laid down their lives. -- free. And that includes nearly. One -- 200 American patriots. -- maybe ultimate sacrifice that last full measure of devotion right here in Afghanistan. And -- -- stood in front of those battle process. -- -- many of you -- memories your fallen comrades in your heart today. We will honor every single one of them not just tomorrow but forever. I want you know. Our gratitude is shared by the Afghan people. He even as our combat mission ends later this year. I want everybody -- know in this country and across the region. America's commitment to the people of Afghanistan will -- With our strategic partnership. Will continue to stand with the Afghans as they -- -- their institutions. As they build their economy and they improve their lives men and women and boys and girls. And I made it clear -- were prepared to continue cooperating with our Afghan partners. On -- security missions. Training and equipping Afghan forces and targeting terrorism counter terrorism targets against al-Qaeda. And once Afghanistan has sworn in its new president. I'm hopeful -- -- about bilateral security agreement but let's let's move forward. And -- that bilateral security agreement assuming it has signed we can plan for a limited. Military presence in Afghanistan beyond when -- -- Because after all the sacrifices we made we want to preserve the gains that you. Have helped win. And -- make sure that Afghanistan could never again. Ever be used again to launch an attack against our company. Our combat mission here will come to an end but our obligations to you. And your families of only just begun.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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