Pool - AP Clients Only

Arlington, Virginia

1. SOUNDBITE: Leon Panetta/Defense Secretary: "This is, without question, the fanciest sendoff I've ever gotten in Washington.

(LAUGHTER) Let me remember the words of President Harry Truman, who once said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." And that's just what I did. (LAUGHTER) And I am grateful that Bravo is here today. Bravo was in all of the meetings when we planned the bin Laden operation, and he also sat in on many of the sensitive meetings and discussions that I had at the Pentagon. And I want you to know that he has never told a soul what he heard. (LAUGHTER) He is definitely not a leaker."

**SOTs separate by frames of black

2. SOUNDBITE: President Barack Obama: "You've served with integrity and decency and grace. You're a reminder of what public service ought to be. You've led with heart, and you've lead with humor. Indeed, they say that you've never seen our wounded warriors smile as wide or heard them laugh as loud as when they get a visit from their secretary of defense. And whatever the challenge, Leon, you always give it to us straight, sometimes in words that can't be repeated here in public. Today, we want to make sure to thank Sylvia and the entire Panetta family for sharing their husband, their father, and their grandfather with the rest of us, for sharing Bravo, the First Dog of the Pentagon. Sylvia, Leon's service has also been your sacrifice, and we promise this time he really is coming home."


President Barack Obama says retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta helped strengthen the military during his relatively brief tenure.

At a farewell ceremony Friday, Obama noted that Panetta oversaw the repeal of a ban on gays serving openly in the military and opened combat roles to women. Panetta was set to retire as CIA director in the spring of 2011 when Obama asked him to run the Pentagon. The 74-year-old Panetta is leaving Washington after more than four decades, including as a congressman, federal budget director, White House chief of staff and CIA director who oversaw the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. Panetta has said he will remain on the job until the Senate confirms a successor. Obama nominated former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to succeed Panetta.