Bush Touts ‘America Supports You’ Program in Radio Address
By Melinda L. Larson
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2006 Using his weekly radio address to highlight the sacrifices servicemembers and their families make, President Bush today urged Americans to visit the Defense Department’s “America Supports You” Web site for ideas on how to support them.
The America Supports You program spotlights and facilitates support for the nation’s servicemembers and their families.
Bush cited Jim Wareing -- founder of an America Supports You member organization called New England Caring for Our Military -- as an example of how Americans are supporting servicemembers.
“This year, Jim helped organize a gift drive by thousands of students from Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” the president said. “Students from kindergarten to high school collected more than 20,000 gifts for our troops abroad.”
Urging listeners to visit the America Supports You site at www.americasupportsyou.mil, the president lauded the example set by Wareing.
“Citizens like Jim Wareing represent the true strength of our country, and they make America proud,” Bush said. “I urge every American to find some way to thank our military this Christmas season. If you see a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, or a member of the Coast Guard, take a moment to stop and say, ‘Thanks for your service.’”
Christmas reminds Americans of their duty to others, and that sense of duty is fulfilled by the men and women who wear the nation’s uniform, Bush said.
"America is blessed to have fine citizens who volunteer to defend us in distant lands," he said. "For many of them, this Christmas will be spent far from home, and on Christmas our nation honors their sacrifice and thanks them for all they do to defend our freedom."
Bush also pointed out the sacrifices of the nation’s military families, and thanked them for their support. "Staying behind when a family member goes to war is a heavy burden, and it is particularly hard during the holidays,” he said. “To all our military families listening today, Laura and I thank you."
While thousands of military families spend the holiday apart, Bush noted this season ushers in a time of change for the nation. With a review of Iraq war strategy under way, a new secretary of defense in office, and changes in Congress, Bush said those serving on the front lines can be assured of continued support.
"I want our troops to know that while the coming year will bring change, one thing will not change, and that is our nation’s support for you and the vital work you do to achieve victory in Iraq," the president said.
Millions of Americans are proving their support of deployed troops, wounded warriors, and the children of those serving abroad, Bush noted.
"Patriotic groups and charities all across America are sending gifts and care packages to our servicemen and women, visiting our troops recovering at military hospitals, reaching out to children whose moms and dads are serving abroad, and going to airports to welcome our troops home and to let them know they are appreciated by a grateful nation," he said.