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101st given opportunity to meet President Bush...

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  • Ndnsoldierboy
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    I saw him back in 2002 just b-4 my deployment to Afghanistan, with the 10th Mountain Division(LI). It was good too see him.

    Leave a comment:


  • 50cal
    started a topic 101st given opportunity to meet President Bush...

    101st given opportunity to meet President Bush...

    Bush thanks recently returned 101st soldiers




    By Deb Riechmann - The Associated Press
    Posted : Tuesday Nov 25, 2008 19:05:35 EST

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — President George W. Bush got a warm welcome Tuesday on a cold morning as he welcomed soldiers returning home to Fort Campbell, Ky. from Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Bush greeted soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, about 10,000 of whom have returned since the beginning of the month just in time for Thanksgiving. Thousands of soldiers and their families crowded into an airplane hangar to hear the outgoing president thank them for their service.
    Despite low approval ratings nationally, Bush got plenty of cheers and applause during what is likely his last visit as president to the base. Bush has made several stops here during his eight years in office and many of the soldiers listening to him speak have completed multiple deployments under his leadership.
    Master Sgt. Dennis Gibson brought his 15-year-old daughter Sydney to see the president, the first time either of them had seen him in person. Gibson just returned from a tour in Afghanistan and said he believes Bush was right to start the war even though he has received a lot of criticism for the decision.
    “This country is a lot safer because of what he’s done,” Gibson said. “I agree with the fact that there hasn’t been a person killed by terrorism on American soil since 9-11. That has a lot to do with what the military has done in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
    Master Sgt. Tony Colon, a member of the 5th Special Forces Group based at Fort Campbell, called the speech very encouraging and said he feels Bush has done a great job.
    “With everything that is going on in the world, we have a leader that cares about us and the security of the nation,” he said.
    Colon said he hopes President-elect Barack Obama keeps the military strong and supports military families and makes sure “we have what we need to do our job, whether we’re at peace or at war.”
    Many soldiers at Fort Campbell say they still expect to be deployed again under the new commander in chief, but add they don’t know yet how the operation of the war will change under new leadership.
    “But the soldiers are always ready,” Colon said. “We may not like it, and it’s hard on the families, and there’s always the possibility of dying, but it’s something we signed up to do.”
    Sgt. Scott Wampler and Spc. Cliffton Barger are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan with the 101st Aviation Regiment. It will be Wampler’s second tour and Barger’s third since the war started. They got up hours early to get a spot in the front of the crowd to see Bush.
    They said they agreed with the president when he said their work is not finished in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    “There is a still a requirement for us to be there and that when we do come home, it will be victory on our terms,” Wampler said.
    Base officials said any soldier in uniform was allowed in to see the speech as well as family members and Department of Defense employees who work at the base. Cathy Gramling, a spokeswoman for the base, said about 10,000 soldiers were expected to see the speech.
    During his visit, Bush gave the President’s Volunteer Service award to Army Staff Sgt. Josh Forbess, who was injured in 2003 when a Black Hawk helicopter he was in collided with another in Mosul, Iraq.
    Forbess volunteers at Fort Campbell’s Fisher House, leads Wounded Warrior meetings and serves as a mentor to combat-injured veterans.
    “I can only hope it inspires other people to get involved,” Forbess told reporters after getting the award. “It’s all in your heart. Whatever is in your heart.”
    After the short ceremony, Bush stayed to have lunch with some of the soldiers. Bush greeted the soldiers with handshakes and pats on the back and also asked several how they were doing. One soldier joining him was Sgt. Grant Pinkton, a member of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, who returned from Iraq about a week ago.
    Pinkton said he “never dreamed I’d be meeting the President of the United States.”

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