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‘Hometown boy done good’ – a South Georgia trailblazer is leading the Pentagon at a turbulent time

Secretary Lloyd Austin, a Georgia native, now leads as the Secretary of Defense.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:31 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Secretary Lloyd Austin grew up in Thomasville, Georgia before making his way to West Point. He rose through the ranks while on active duty, becoming a four-star general, and now as a civilian occupies the highest role at the Pentagon as Secretary of Defense. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) is proud to have him in this role.

“Hometown boy done good,” said Bishop.

Bishop is an Army veteran himself. He said having someone like Austin at the helm of U.S. armed forces, once the Commander of U.S. forces in Iraq then Commander of Central Command, gives confidence to the troops.

“It makes the soldier and our troops committed to the fact that they’re willing to follow the Commander in Chief, willing to follow the leaders,” said Bishop.

The Thomasville High School graduate has faced numerous tests during his first year as the civilian leader of the U.S. military. Austin received many questions about the withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, including how 13 service members lost their lives to a suicide bomb at the Kabul airport.

Now, he faces questions about how much the U.S. military can support Ukraine against Russian aggression. Bishop thinks Austin and the administration are handling it well.

“President Biden and his security team, including Secretary Austin, have done a tremendous job unifying our NATO allies and the world,” said Bishop.

Bishop said he has worked with Austin throughout the years on different causes, including helping families of veterans. Bishop thinks it is in the DNA of his district to serve.

“Our core values: God, country, work, and family. And of course, country is patriotism,” said Bishop.

Bishop notes that Thomasville is rich in U.S. military history. Henry Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point in 1977, is also a native of Thomasville. Last year, Lloyd Austin made history when he became the first black Secretary of Defense.

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