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President, First Lady Visit Wounded Soldiers, Families

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2004 – President and Mrs. Bush spent time today with wounded troops and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

"Laura and I have just come from a remarkable place called the Fisher House, a facility where wounded soldiers and their families are provided comfort during their trials," the president said. "And we just want to thank the people who have supported the Fisher House, (and) thank the folks here at Walter Reed for providing such incredibly good health care."

Fisher Houses makes it possible for family members to be close to a loved one hospitalized for injury or illness with very little cost to the family.

The president also addressed the attack on a dining hall on a U.S. military base in southwest Mosul, Iraq, saying that loss of life is difficult any time of the year, but especially in the holiday season.

"This time of year is particularly sorrowful for the families as we head into the Christmas season. We pray for them," he said. "We send our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones who suffer today."

The blast killed at least 20 people and injured more than 60 others, including U.S. troops, contractors, foreign national contractors and Iraqi soldiers.

Bush emphasized that the mission the troops are on is a vital mission for peace, saying that the idea of democracy replacing tyranny is "such a hopeful moment in the history of the world."

The president thanked the troops and their families for their sacrifice.

"This is a very important and vital mission," he said. "I'm confident democracy will prevail in Iraq. I know a free Iraq will lead to a more peaceful world. So we ask for God's blessings on all who are involved in that vital mission."

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Related Sites:
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Fisher House

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