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Petraeus Apologizes For Affair: 'My Recent Journey Was My Own Doing'

Miguel Arreola |
March 27, 2013 | 11:39 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

General Petraeus spent much of the address honoring ROTC students. (Photo by Miguel Arreola)
General Petraeus spent much of the address honoring ROTC students. (Photo by Miguel Arreola)
David H. Petraeus used his first public appearance since his resignation to apologize for the affair that led to his undoing in November. 

Petraeus delivered a 25-minute keynote address on Tuesday to a crowd of more than 600 people at a dinner recognizing USC’s ROTC students and alumni. He began his remarks with a solemn apology for having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell - an affair that forced him to resign from his post as the director of the CIA. 

“It truly is a privilege to be here this evening,” stated Petraeus, “all the more so with my personal journey over the past five months. I am keenly aware that I am seen in a different light than I was a year ago when [USC] President Nikias invited me to speak at this event. I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing.”

Petraeus, a retired four-star general, was introduced to the crowd by USC President C.L. Max Nikias.

Nikias noted the university’s strong ties with its ROTC unit.

“USC is one of only two universities to have maintained an unbroken relationship with ROTC,” Nikias said. “We never kicked ROTC off of this campus.”

Petraeus then addressed the group of present and former USC ROTC members. He discussed issues looming over those enrolling in the military and those returning from war and noted that the main focus of his speech was to honor the younger service members and veterans.

“We can and must do more,” he said. “We must look over the families of our fallen heroes, we must take care of our wounded service men and women, we must help our veterans transition successfully to the civilian sector, and we must recognize and honor our veterans’ service.”

ALSO SEE: Petraeus' Apology Gets Mixed Reactions

Petraeus continued to honor several people in the crowd, thank Nikias for the invitation and recognizing the current USC ROTC students. He concluded his speech by apologizing to the crowd and public for the actions that led to his resignation five months ago.

“I know that I could never fully assuage the pain I have inflicted on those closest to me and on a number of others,” he said. “I can, however, try to move forward in a manner that is consistent to the values to which I subscribed before slipping my moorings and as best possible to make amends to those I have hurt and let down, and that is what I will strive to do.”

Petraeus gave one last remark of praise for the future, present and past members of the service before concluding his speech and the evening.

“It has been a privilege to applaud USC’s very impressive initiatives to help the many veterans, active duty service members and ROTC cadets who are part of Trojan nation and to applaud the leadership of a great institution that shows its appreciation for those in its ranks who have served and who do serve.”


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on Petraeus here.

Reach Staff Reporter Miguel Arreola here



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