Vice President Mike Pence expressed his support and gratitude to American service members in the U.S. Pacific Command on Monday, while attempting to address some of their concerns regarding the defense budget.

Pence’s arrival at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii punctuated a ten-day trip that included stops in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.  He opened his remarks to the service members present in the briefing room by explaining that President Trump had asked him “to tell you how grateful we all are for your service. And as he said to me, ‘Just tell them I’m proud of them.’ And I promise all of you, the American people are proud of every man and woman in this room. Thank you for serving your country.”

Pence explained that while he did not serve in the armed forces, he has been deeply affected by the service of both his father and son.

“I am the son of a soldier — a combat veteran who served in the Korean War. And I’m the proud father of a United States Marine.”  Pence told the room.

“And so I stand before you today deeply humbled, because I really speak on behalf of the hundreds of millions of Americans, who each and every day benefit by the services and the sacrifices that you and your families make on our behalf.”

He then went on to address concerns many within the military have voiced regarding the defense budget.  Although the United States outspends every other nation on the planet when it comes to defense, the relative size and dispersal of American assets has made maintaining such a formidable force nearly impossible under current spending limits.

Pence addressed these concerns by describing Trump as a commander-in-chief that intends to fight to rebuild the U.S. military and “restore the arsenal of democracy.”

“And we’re going to give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources you need to accomplish your mission for the American people. We’re going to do it,” Pence said to applause.