Friday, November 28, 2003

There was explosive, euphoric reaction here. These soldiers, men and women, are extraordinarily homesick, so any familiar face from home would have been welcome. And, of course, the president's their commander in chief. So all the more so.

I spoke with more than a few soldiers about all of this, and they said they were especially touched because he came to show how he really felt about us.

Another report says this:

"That is absolutely awesome," said Sergeant Aaron Hildernbrandt, from Claremont, Florida, as he watched news of Bush's 2-1/2 hour swing-through on television in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

"I think that shows real personal courage," said his companion Sergeant Gilbert Nail of Oklahoma, both of whom had just returned from a patrol through Saddam Hussein's hometown.

And they seemed especially to appreciate this line:

"We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost in casualties, defeat a brutal dictator and liberate 25 million people, only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins," he said.

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