Bush Thanks Military, Families for Sacrifices
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2004 President Bush in his weekly radio address today thanked servicemembers "who are serving with courage and skill, and making our entire nation proud."
"We give thanks to the men and women of our military," the president said.
As in past conflicts, Bush said, today's U.S. armed forces have freed formerly captive peoples in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. And U.S. servicemembers, the president observed, have "fought the terrorists abroad so that we do not have to face those enemies here at home."
U.S. military prowess has made America safer, Bush said, noting "it has also brought new burdens to our military families." Many servicemen and women, he pointed out, have endured lengthy deployments and separations from loved ones.
Many American families, Bush noted, "have faced the challenge of raising children while praying for a loved one's safe return." America, he said, "is grateful to all our military families."
And "families mourning a terrible loss this Thanksgiving," Bush said, "can know that America will honor their sacrifices forever."
As commander in chief, Bush said he has thanked "our troops at bases around the world." The president noted he has also been "inspired by the efforts of private citizens to express their own gratitude" for the efforts of U.S. military members.
"This month, I met Shauna Fleming, a 15-year-old from California who coordinated the mailing of a million thank you letters to military personnel," Bush said.
In October, Bush said he'd met with Ken Porwoll, a World War II veteran "who has devoted years of his retirement to volunteering at a Veterans Affairs medical center in Minneapolis."
The president also praised the generosity of organizations like Give2theTroops, "a group started in a basement by a mother and son that has sent thousands of care packages to troops in the field."
Thanksgiving, Bush noted, "reminds us that America's true strength is the compassion and decency of our people." He thanked "all those who volunteer this season, and Laura and I wish every American a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend."
The president noted that wartime leaders George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln also observed Thanksgiving during trying times.
The changed world after the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, Bush observed, presents "the greatest challenges of our time" to the men and women protecting America. He also praised the firefighters, police officers, and homeland security and intelligence personnel "who spend long hours on faithful watch."