For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 24, 2005
Fact Sheet: President Bush Honors America's National Guard and Reserve
Today's Presidential Action:
Today, President Bush Delivered Remarks On The War On Terror In Boise.The President thanked the men and women of the National Guard and
Reserve for their service and sacrifice during this time of war.
Whether providing disaster relief and security here at home, or
advancing freedom abroad, the men and women of the National Guard and
Reserve are serving with courage and distinction and are defending the
President Bush Honors The Service Of The National Guard And Reserve
America's National Guard And Reserve Are Serving Honorably In All
Aspects Of The War On Terror. The National Guard is protecting the
Homeland and taking the fight to the enemy abroad. Since September
11th, more than 243,000 members of the National Guard have been
mobilized for various missions in the War on Terror.
Our Nation Is Depending On Guard And Reserve Members, Their
Families, And Their Communities. A time of war is a time of sacrifice -
and a heavy burden falls on our military families. By standing with our
service members, they are standing up for America - and America
appreciates their service. We also depend on the understanding and
support of Guard employers. By enabling employees to serve, businesses
are putting patriotism ahead of profit because they know that our
prosperity and way of life depend on the freedom the Guard defends.
The Administration Is Working To Improve Service Conditions
For The Guard And Reserve. The Administration is working to improve the
call-up process so Guard members and their families receive more notice
and information about deployments. In most cases, Guard members now
receive at least 30 days' notification before mobilization. The
Administration is also working to give as much certainty as possible
about the length of mobilization and is working to minimize the number
of extensions and repeat mobilizations. Guard members and their
families will be treated with the dignity they deserve - and with the
respect they have earned.
The Administration Is Working To Improve The Quality Of Life
For The Guard And Reserve. The Administration has expanded health care
benefits for Guard and Reserve forces and their families - giving access
to the military's TRICARE system for up to 90 days before reporting and
180 days after deactivation. We are also expanding access to education
by providing our Guard and Reserve forces between 40 and 80 percent of
the education benefit available to active-duty forces - depending on the
length of their mobilization in the War on Terror.
The Administration Is Working To Retain And Reward Members Of
The Guard And Reserve. The Administration has tripled the amount that
can be paid for re-enlisting in the National Guard or Reserve - and the
President has asked Congress to authorize a new retention bonus for
members of the Guard and Reserve who have critical skills we need in the
struggle against the terrorists.
President Bush Has Outlined A Comprehensive Strategy To Win The War On
Protecting The Homeland. The Administration has reformed our
intelligence services, trained more than 800,000 first responders, and
disrupted terrorist cells in our midst through new tools like the USA
Patriot Act. We are hunting down the terrorists in the shadows before
they can attack our country again.
Fighting The Terrorists Abroad Before They Can Attack Us Here At
Home. September 11th taught us that retreating within our borders will
not keep us safe while the terrorists plot and plan. That is why
American men and women in uniform are taking the fight to the terrorists
in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere. The only way to
defend our citizens where we live is to go after the terrorists where
they plot and plan.
Advancing Freedom To Ensure American Security. In the long run,
the best way to defeat the terrorists is by offering an alternative to
their ideology of hatred and fear. By advancing the cause of liberty in
the Middle East, we are bringing hope to millions, security to our
citizens - and laying the foundation of peace for our children and
grandchildren. As people in the Middle East and across the world
advance peace and gain freedom, America will be more secure.
Retreat And Isolation Will Not Make America Safe; We Must Complete The
Mission In Iraq
September 11, 2001, Gave Us A Choice Between Waiting To Be
Attacked Again And Going On The Offense. During the last few decades,
the terrorists grew to believe that if they attack America - as in
Lebanon and Somalia - America would retreat and back down. They are
trying to break America's will with acts of brutality and violence.
Their goal is to force a retreat, so they can topple governments in the
Middle East and turn that region into a safe haven for terrorism and
tyranny. We saw the terrible harm that terrorists did when they took
effective control of a failed state in Afghanistan, which led directly
to the attacks of September 11th.
America Will Not Wait To Be Attacked Again. America will confront emerging threats before they fully materialize. We will not allow the terrorists to establish new places of refuge in failed states, from which they can recruit and train and plan new attacks on our citizens. Nations that harbor a terrorist are just as guilty as the terrorists.
We Must Complete The Mission In Iraq. A withdrawal of our troops in Iraq or the broader Middle East before the mission is complete - as some have called for - would only embolden the terrorists and create a staging ground to launch more attacks against America and other free people.
The Iraqi People Are Making Progress. Iraqis braved threats and violence and defied the terrorists to make their voices heard in elections, and today they are working to write their own constitution. Producing a constitution is a difficult process that involves debate and compromise. Americans know this from our own history, and that is why we admire their thoughtful deliberations and determination to lay the foundation for a lasting democracy.
Members Of The National Guard And Reserve Understand That The
Rise Of Liberty Is Critical To Our National Security. Guard and
Reserves members understand the power of freedom because they have
witnessed it with their own eyes. They have seen up close the desire
for liberty, as Iraqis made their voices heard in elections and as they
move toward their own secure democracy.
America Will Prevail Through The Challenges We Face In Iraq. Since the morning of September 11th, we have known that the War on
Terror would require great sacrifice. In this war, 491 heroes of our
National Guard and Reserves have given their lives for a cause that is
just and necessary for the security of our country - and now we will
honor their sacrifice by completing their mission. We will prevail in
this struggle because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind - and
because we have on our side the greatest force for freedom in the
history of the world: the brave men and women of the United States Armed