Biden mourns death of Ray Odierno, former US military Iraq chief

Washington, Oct 9 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden said Saturday he regretted the death of retired Gen. Raymond Odierno, one of the most renowned commanders of American troops in Iraq, whom he called a hero.

“Today is a sad day for our nation. We have lost a hero of great integrity and honor,” Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, said in a statement released by the White House.

Odierno died Friday at 67 of cancer, according to a statement from his family released by Army spokesman Lt. Col. Terence M. Kelly.

Odierno’s family did not share any further details, saying information about the burial and burial “is not available”.

Born in Rockaway, New Jersey, Odierno became a four-star general in the US army and retired in 2015.

He was commander-in-chief of US forces in Iraq between 2018 and 2010, a position he assumed after being the number two in the military command in the country and leading the IV Infantry Division there during the American invasion in March of 2003.

Odierno was in command when special forces of the IV Division captured former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in late 2003.

Biden and his wife said Odierno helped the United States Army “become the modern fighting force it is today – an Army, in Odierno’s words, that is ‘deeply admired and deeply respected by our allies’ and ‘feared by our adversaries'”.

In addition to serving in Germany, Albania, Kuwait and Iraq, Odierno led the Joint Forces Command between October 2010 and August 2011, and subsequently became, in Sep. 2011, chief of the army general staff.

The presidential couple said they were eternally grateful for Odierno’s words during the funeral of Beau Biden, Biden’s son who died in 2015 of a brain tumor and was posthumously awarded a military award, the “Legion of Merit,” for his career and service in Iraq.

Odierno is survived by his wife Linda and three children – one of them, also in the military and survivor of a grenade attack in Iraq that caused the amputation of an arm – and four grandchildren. EFE


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