This morning I attended the change of command ceremony for the Chief of Defense Staff at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. My good friend General Walt Natynczyk stepped down after four years of distinguished service.
Since arriving in Canada, Julie and I have become good friends with Gen. Natynczyk and his wife Leslie. We have gone to hockey games, dinners, parades, celebrations and every other type of event with them. I spent a week in Afghanistan with Gen. Natynczyk not long after I arrived here visiting Canadian and American troops. It was one of the highlights of my experience as Ambassador.
I have seen first-hand the strength of character, the leadership abilities, the decency that Walt brought to the job. As I have gotten to know senior members of the United States military I have heard — over and over — about the respect they all have for him. He served with our troops in several locations and commanded Americans in combat in Bosnia.
The Canadian people — and the American people — should be grateful for his service. He will be missed.