Below is a link to one of many stories about the President's recent visit to Camp Pendleton on Tuesday to speak to the Marines and their families.
In all of the stories about the President's visit, there are many soundbites and a lot of quotes of the President praising Marines for a job well done in Iraq.
But what you may not know from the MSM is that he was at Camp Pendleton for another reason. Some of the articles touch briefly on that reason, but they don't (or won't) do it justice. This is from a Marine Colonel at Pendleton who writes of the President's visit:
...we had the lead for the POTUS visit and I was privileged to spend much of the day with him. Let me tell you something that was, very deliberately, not in the news. President Bush came here for two reasons. To thank the Marines and sailors of Camp Pendleton for all they do, and to meet with the families of our fallen warriors. The first part was public. The second - and I believe far more important - was to meet privately with 170 family members who had lost a loved one. He forbade the press corps from viewing or photographing any of it.
The Plt Sgt Mitchell Paige Fieldhouse (a brand new $12.5m facility) has two basketball courts. One was curtained off and decks covered where he met with them together. Then, he met with the family members of each fallen Marine in the other gym individually. Having had the duty of a Casualty Assistance and Notification Officer many times in the past, I know how emotionally draining it is to talk to even one family at a time. When we put the President back on Marine One some three hours later, he was as somber and drained as I've ever seen him. It took an emotional toll on everyone involved.
Obviously, he did not have to make this visit. He could have delegated that task to anyone to do it for him. I have great respect for ones that will do the "right" thing, regardless of how tough it is.
Just thought you would like to hear a bit of the background.