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 Home > News & Policies > December 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 21, 2004

President and Mrs. Bush Visit with Soldiers and Their Families
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Washington, D.C.

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3:07 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I have just come from a remarkable place called the Fisher House, a facility where wounded soldiers and their families are provided comfort during their trials. And we just want to thank the people who have supported the Fisher House, thank the folks here at Walter Reed for providing such incredibly good health care.

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush talk with U.S. Army Sgt. Dale Beatty of Statesville, N.C., and, from left, sister-in-law Wendolyn Summers, wife Belinda Beatty, son Lucas, 6 months old, and son Dustin, 2 years old, during a visit to the Fisher House at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2004. President Bush presented Sgt. Beatty The Purple Heart for injuries he sustained while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  White House photo by Paul Morse Today, we had a rocket attack that took a lot of lives. Any time of the year it's a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life. This time of year is particularly sorrowful for the families as we head into the Christmas season. We pray for them. We send our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones who suffer today. Just want them to know that the mission is a vital mission for peace. The idea of a democracy taking hold in what was a place of tyranny and hatred and destruction is -- is such a hopeful moment in the history of the world.

And I want to thank the soldiers who are there, and thank those who have sacrificed, and the families who are worried about them during this Christmas season, for their sacrifice. This is a very important and vital mission. I'm confident democracy will prevail in Iraq. I know a free Iraq will lead to a more peaceful world. So we ask for God's blessings on all who are involved in that vital mission.

Thank you very much. Have a good holiday.

END 3:09 P.M. EST