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Bush Salutes Boy Scout Values, Support of U.S. Military

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2005 – President Bush praised Boy Scout values of patriotism, integrity and citizenship July 31 at the organization's 16th National Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.

The 30,000-plus scouts attending the jamboree from around the world "are carrying on a tradition that dates back almost seven decades," Bush observed, noting that President Franklin Roosevelt came to the first jamboree in 1937.

Over the years, millions of Americans have recited the Scout oath, which begins, "On my honor, I'll do my best," said Bush, who was a Cub Scout during his youth Midland, Texas. Bush said he works with many other former scouts today, including Vice President Richard Cheney, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Each day, Boy Scouts demonstrate "that the greatest strength of America lies in the hearts and souls of our citizens," Bush said. Boy Scouts have provided more than 1.4 million hours of volunteer service this year, he noted, as part of the organization's "Good Turn for America" program.

Bush said the Boy Scouts also provided 11,000 pocket-sized flags to be sent to U.S. troops deployed overseas in support of the global war on terrorism, and have raised and donated money for victims of the Asian tsunami.

And, the Boy Scout's "commitment to service, to integrity, and to good citizenship," Bush pointed out, demonstrates scouts' "gratitude for the blessings of freedom."

Boy Scouts recognize "that freedom must be defended," Bush said, noting he appreciates the organization's long-standing support of the U.S. military.

Scouts "are growing up in an historic time," Bush observed, "when freedom is on the march, and America is proud to lead the armies of liberation" against terrorists, extremists and other enemies of democracy.

And American and allied prosecution of the war on terrorism will ultimately establish "the foundations of peace for decades to come," Bush said.

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