Theodore's World: Bush, Cheney Comforted Troops Privately

« President's Speech To The Troops at Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory, Iraq | Main | Special Delivery Christmas and Holiday Present For The Taliban »

December 25, 2008

Bush, Cheney Comforted Troops Privately

Bush, Cheney comforted troops privately

Washington Times

For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.

On Monday, the president is set to make a more common public trip - with reporters in tow - to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, home to many of the wounded and a symbol of controversy earlier in his presidency over the quality of care the veterans were receiving.

Vice President Dick Cheney, an avid fly-fisherman, practices his cast with wounded troops from Walter Reed Army Medical Center during one of the half-dozen barbecues he's hosted at his Naval Observatory home. (White House photo)

But the size and scope of Mr. Bush's and Mr. Cheney's private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.

"People say, 'Why would you do that?'" the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. "And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be - to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish."

Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice. The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, has been so wrenching - balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin - that the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.

"I lean on the Almighty and Laura," Mr. Bush said in the interview. "She has been very reassuring, very calming."

Mr. Bush also has met privately with more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans, according to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. Many of those meetings were outside the presence of the news media at the White House or at private sessions during official travel stops, officials said.

The first lady said those private visits, many of which she also attended, took a heavy emotional toll, not just on the president, but on her as well.

Wild Thing's comment.........

It is impossible to dislike President Bush at least for me, despite how much I disagree with him on many things. We will be missing his human qualities very shortly. Both Bush and Cheney are class acts in so many ways. Thank God they have been in office for 8 years and not Gore or Kerry.

What a contrast between President Bush and what we having coming up, Barack Hussein Obama, who has never performed a truly sellfess act in his entire life.

Bush and Cheney for certain, never waivered in their pride and support of our troops.

I’m going to miss President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

This is a VERY special video ...."Military Christmas"........ PLEASE CLICK TO WATCH HERE - Thank you.

....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 25, 2008 04:48 AM


You will never see an article like this when BHO & JB leave office in 2012 (or sooner hopefully)

Posted by: RAC at December 25, 2008 11:34 AM

Thank you WT and Tom. I fear the future legacy of our troops will not be so favorable. My thanks to president and vice president Bush and Cheney for their outstanding stewardship over the past 8 years. We forget about their sacrifices all too soon. Australian Eric Bogle has set it to rhyme very well about the battle of Gallipoli and the strong timeless message it sends and I happen to like the version by the Pogues, both are on You Tube.

Posted by: Jack at December 25, 2008 11:37 AM

George Bush has disappointed me in many ways. I think however that he is deeply patriotic and that he truely loves our military.

I did not know that Bush personally wrote to the family of every servicemember killed in combat. Nor did I know that Cheney hosted picnics for wounded troops. These are actions that go beyond political photo ops. These are actions that show a humility too many politicians don't have. George Bush is basically a good person.

Posted by: TomR at December 25, 2008 12:02 PM

Democrats and the MSM couldn't get enough of Cindy Sheehan outside Bush's Crawford ranch when she protested that he wouldn't meet with her (again) and that he didn't care about the troops or their families. Day after day, week after week, and even month after month all we heard was that Bush was evil, didn't care, and was insensitive. They were all outraged.

Where are those outraged and accusing Democrats and MSM now that the truth comes out? Silent on the truth, apoplectic on the lies. They are lying bastards and hypocrites still trying to blame Bush for all of the evils in the world while guzzling their Obama Kool-Aid and performing obscene acts of history revisionism. There will be a decency void when George Bush and Dick Cheney leave Washington DC that no amount of Obama and Biden phoniness will replace.

Posted by: Les at December 25, 2008 04:59 PM

Les, Theodore Rooswevelt once said "The American people abhor a vacuum." He will probably try to over reach with his anti-american B.S. and will anger us who didn't vote for him and many of those that did. Teddy also said that "The American People are slow to wrath, but once that wrath is kindled, it burns like a consuming flame."

Posted by: JohnE PFC U.S. Army at December 25, 2008 06:19 PM

RAC, I agree, it sure is going to be a lot different. Yes I sure would love for himi to leave, be forced out or something early.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 26, 2008 12:01 AM

Jack thank you, I like that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 26, 2008 12:04 AM

Tom, I agree, these things done without them being photo ops rate very high with me.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 26, 2008 12:06 AM

Les, this is so true......"There will be a decency void when George Bush and Dick Cheney leave Washington DC ".

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 26, 2008 12:09 AM

GREAT news Team Theodore...after eight years of being on the defensive (Bush-Cheney), now we get to go on the OFFENSE! How sweet it is.

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at December 26, 2008 04:27 PM