America Needs to Appreciate Those in Uniform, Bush Says
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2006 Americans need to recognize the sacrifices made by men and women in the military, whose service has liberated millions of people in the Middle East and made this country more secure, President Bush said yesterday in Wheeling, W.Va.
"America has got to appreciate what it means to wear the uniform today and honor those who have volunteered to keep this country strong," Bush said to an audience of military families at the Capitol Music Hall. "All of us should agree with the fact that we have a remarkable country when people who know that they're going to be sent into harm's way raise their hand and say, 'I volunteer to serve.'"
Committing troops into harm's way is the most difficult decision any president can make, Bush said, but the war on terror is a fight the U.S. can't run away from. While debates about the war in Iraq are inevitable, Bush said, he is optimistic about the war in Iraq, because the U.S. has a clear strategy for victory.
"If I didn't think we'd succeed, I'd pull our troops out," he said.
Despite politics or debates about the war, U.S. leaders remain committed to supporting the troops, Bush said. Congress continues to act to ensure troops are well-trained, well-paid, well-equipped and well-housed, he said.
All Americans should serve their country, whether in uniform or not, Bush said. Those who aren't in the military can serve by supporting the troops or by volunteering for a different cause, he said.
"It is a vital part of our societies and our communities -- the idea of people volunteering to help a neighbor in need," he said. "And one of my jobs is to ... honor people who are serving our country that way and to call other people to service as well."