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General Stanley Mcchrystal Formally Retires: 'i Need To Celebrate'
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WASHINGTON â€” Gen. Stanley McChrystal ended his 34-year career as an Army officer Friday in an emotional retirement ceremony at his military headquarters here, marking the last chapter of his swift and stunning fall from grace.
Before a crowd of a few hundred friends, family and colleagues on the Fort McNair parade grounds under an oppressively hot July sun, McChrystal said his service didn't end as he hoped. But he regretted few decisions he had made on the battlefield, cherished his life as a soldier and was optimistic about his future, he said.
"I trusted and I still trust," McChrystal said. "I cared and I still care. I wouldn't have it any other way."
The former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan was fired last month after Rolling Stone magazine published an article titled "The Runaway General" that quoted scathing remarks he and his aides made about their civilian bosses.
McChrystal complained President Barack Obama had handed him "an unsellable position" on the war. The general's closest advisers mocked other government officials, including Vice President Joseph Biden, as fools who were ignorant of the complexities of war.
"Biden? Did you say, 'Bite me?'" one aide is quoted saying.
Shortly after the article was published, McChrystal was sent packing.
In his 18-minute farewell tribute before the VIP-studded crowd, McChrystal made light of the episode. He warned his comrades in arms: "I have stories on all of you, photos of many, and I know a Rolling Stone reporter."
But McChrystal also sounded a more serious note, when he talked about the pain of leaving behind unfulfilled commitments in Afghanistan and watching colleagues ensnared in the scandal.
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