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Subject: FW: Thanksgiving dinner with the troops...



We knew there was a dinner planned with Ambassador Bremer and LTG
Sanchez.
There were 600 seats available and all the units in the division were
tasked with filling a few tables. Naturally, the 501st MI battalion got
our table.

Soldiers were grumbling about having to sit through another dog-and-pony
show, so we had to pick soldiers to attend. I chose not to go. But,
about 1500 the G2, LTC Devan, came up to me and with a smile, asked me
to come to dinner with him, to meet him in his office at 1600 and bring
a camera. I didn't really care about getting a picture with Sanchez or
Bremer, but when the division's senior intelligence officer asks you to
go, you go.

We were seated in the chow hall, fully decorated for Thanksgiving when
aaaaallllll kinds of secret service guys showed up. That was my first
clue, because Bremer's been here before and his personal security
detachment is not that big.
Then BG Dempsey got up to speak, and he welcomed ambassador Bremer and
LTG Sanchez. Bremer thanked us all and pulled out a piece of paper as if
to give a speech. He mentioned that the President had given him this
thanksgiving speech to give to the troops. He then paused and said that
the senior man present should be the one to give it. He then looked at
Sanchez, who just smiled.
Bremer then said that we should probably get someone more senior to read
the speech.
Then, from behind the camouflage netting, the President of the United
States came around. The mess hall actually erupted with hollering.
Troops bounded to their feet with shocked smiles and just began cheering
with all their hearts.
The building actually shook. It was just unreal. I was absolutely
stunned.
Not only for the obvious, but also because I was only two tables away
from the podium. There he stood, less than thirty feet away from me! The
cheering went on and on and on. Soldiers were hollering, cheering, and a
lot of them were crying. There was not a dry eye at my table. When he
stepped up to the cheering, I could clearly see tears running down his
cheeks. It was the most surreal moment I've had in years. Not since my
wedding and Aaron being born. Here was this man, our President, came all
the way around the world, spending 17 hours on an airplane and landing
in the most dangerous airport in the world, where a plane was shot out
of the sky not six days before. Just to spend two hours with his troops.
Only to get on a plane and spend another 17 hours flying back.
It was a great moment, and I will never forget it.

He delivered his speech, which we all loved, when he looked right at me
and held his eyes on me. Then he stepped down and was just mobbed by the
soldiers. He slowly worked his way all the way around the chow hall and
shook every last hand extended. Every soldier who wanted a photo with
the President got one.
I made my way through the line, got dinner, then wolfed it down as he
was still working the room. You could tell he was really enjoying
himself. It wasn't just a photo opportunity. This man was actually
enjoying himself! He worked his way over the course of about 90 minutes
towards my side of the room.

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to shake a few hands. I got a picture
with Ambassador Bremer, Talabani (acting Iraqi president) and Achmed
Chalabi (another member of the ruling council) and Condaleeza Rice, who
was there with him. I felt like I was drunk.

He was getting closer to my table so I went back over to my seat. As he
passed and posed for photos, he looked me in the eye and said, "How you
doin',captain."
I smiled and said "God bless you, sir."
To which he responded "I'm proud of what you do, captain." Then moved
on.

:flg: :flg: :flg: :unclesmile:
 

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Thank you for that account. may god bless all our troops.

thank you very very much ...from one grateful american,
royal
 

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Great Account of our presidents visit. I am an Air Force brat, and also spent 22yrs & 28 days in the South Carolina National Guard so I have been associated with the military most of my life, and it means much to me that our Nations leader really supports our troups not with words but with actions. No matter how we feel about our involvement in Iraq we must support our Soldiers who put thier lives on the line to defend you and me. :yes2: :unclesmile:
Thanks ..KC
 

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Thanks for the first hand impression.
It's to bad we don't get a report like this from our press.
We're all proud of what you do too.
Thanks
:rat: Bake
 

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Thanks for the post and for your service to us all. May I copy and paste your post to share in an email to friends?
 

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:flg:

Believe me when I say a lot of us Canadians are proud of the service men and women of the US military.

Sad to say our own military has been desimated by the Liberal government's under funding and in a matter of a few years will not have any Canadian armed forces. :oops: :cry: :x

We may just have to call upon our friends and neighbours to the south to help us out. :oops: :(

Lets all hope and pray for the safe return of all the men and women of all the armed forces involved in these operations abroad.
 

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Thank you for sharing that Capt Billenow. It sure touched my heart. Spent more holidays away from the family than i care to think about. WestPac with the U.S. Navy.
 

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thanks for the report and thank you for your service to this nation

When I first heard that W had been in Iraq, I thought to myself the guy has balls.
 

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Pretty cool account! Thanks for sharing.

I get touched just reading it, couldn't imagine actually being there.

Gotta love a president with the balls to do this!
 

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Re: When we need it....

TexVetDan said:
God will put the right man in the right spot at the right time.
Dan
Dan, from the looks of your pic, you've found your spot :a13:
 

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Thanks for sharing this. It's good to hear the account 'first hand' from someone who was there.
 

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Thank YOU

Thanks for sharing! It brought tears to my eyes! God Bless Our Troops all over the World! Thank u and your friends for all that u have done for use to be safe! :bow:

:unclesmile:

bruce aka "the blue trawler" :blw1:
 

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I thought it was great. It has now been around the world a few times. Is there anyone to whom we might credit this email?
 

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Presidents Visit

Thank You Very Much!!

That was a GREAT POST, it too brought tears to my eyes as well.

It is very unfortunate that our Troops, Comanders, President and Our Country do not get the Respect they deserve from the Press and Liberal Agenda. Rest assured "Sir" that you and the troops have the respect from many of us.
 

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Great Post that brought tears to my eyes also. Glad that GW has the NADS and conviction to do what's right. I too spent many a holiday away from friends and family while wearing the uniform for 22+ years, and can fully understand the GI's reaction that you described. FANTASTIC! Too bad we didn't have anyone but Bob Hope with NADS that size to visit us in SEA.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Author

This was not a first person account from me. The author is a Captain in the IV ID who chose not to append his name to it. I make no claim to having been there and cannot accept plaudits or vouch for it's validity.

It's still rings true and I see no reason to doubt that it is a first person account from an actual attendee.

Bill Enochs :oops: :D :flg: :flg:
 
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