Bush: Military 'Doing Fantastic Job' Helping Tsunami Victims
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2005 The U.S. military "is doing a fantastic job" supporting the relief operation in Asia, and in doing so, is showing the world America's compassion, President Bush said here today.
"I want to thank our commanders on the ground, and I want to thank our troops who are presenting the best of America," the president said during a meeting with employees from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Bush cited the widespread support sailors, Marines, soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen are providing in the tsunami-stricken region. "Navy vessels, including the USS Abraham Lincoln, have moved into the region and are providing food, medical supplies and clean water," he said. "Helicopters and military aircraft are meeting critical needs by airlifting supplies directly to victims," many of them in extremely remote areas.
"Like in so many other places, those who wear our uniform are showing the great decency of America, and I thank them for that," the president said. "I can't tell you how much our government and the people of America appreciate the good work our military is doing to help relieve the suffering from the crisis."
Bush delivered his remarks while also thanking the U.S. Agency for International Development and nongovernmental organizations for their key roles in the disaster response and the rehabilitation and rebuilding effort to follow.
"I appreciate your compassion," the president said. "I appreciate your love for your fellow human being and thank you for the work you do."
Earlier today, Bush received what he called "an extensive briefing" from Secretary of State Colin Powell following Powell's trip to the affected region. In addition to describing "the unbelievable damage," Bush said Powell also brought him up to date on the "extraordinary efforts" the U.S. government, U.S. people and other world governments are making to provide relief.
Bush said the United States remains committed to helping those suffering from the disaster. "We're committed today," he said. "And we will be committed tomorrow."