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Bush Awards Purple Hearts to U.S. Troops
Associated Press  |  January 02, 2006
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - President Bush began the new year on Sunday at the bedsides of wounded servicemen and women, and awarded nine Purple Hearts to U.S. troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president boarded the Marine One presidential helicopter before dawn on his ranch in Crawford and flew more than an hour to Randolph Air Force Base. His motorcade drove to Brooke Army Medical Center, a 224-bed hospital at nearby Fort Sam Houston, to meet with about 50 injured members of various branches of the armed forces and their families.

"This hospital is full of healers and compassionate people that care deeply about our men and women in uniform," the president said after his visit with the wounded troops. "It's also full of courageous young soldiers and marines, airmen. I'm just overwhelmed by the great strength of character of not only those who have been wounded but of their loved ones as well. "

Bush spent the past week relaxing at his ranch where he rode his bike, cleared brush and prepared for his sixth year in office. He and his wife, Laura, and her mother, Jenna Welch, stayed at the ranch on New Year's Eve and had a steak dinner.

The president had a two-inch scratch across the left side of his brow.

"As you can probably see I was injured myself, not here at the hospital but in combat with a cedar," Bush quipped. "I eventually won."

The president, who was flying back to Washington after visiting the military hospital, has no public events scheduled for Monday, a federal holiday. He is to spend the rest of his first week of 2006 focused on Iraq and the economy.

On Tuesday, Bush is meeting at the White House with a group of U.S. attorneys to urge Congress to renew the Patriot Act. On Wednesday, he will be at the Pentagon making a statement about the war on terror.

Bush is hosting a bipartisan group of current and former secretaries of state and defense on Thursday to discuss terrorism and present his case for winning the war in Iraq. He travels on Friday to Illinois to visit the Chicago Board of Trade and make a speech on the economy.

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Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


 


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