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Bush Lauds 5 Soldiers Hurt in Afghanistan as 'Noble'

January 18, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Friday thanked five soldiers who were badly injured in Afghanistan, calling their service "noble and strong and good" as he considered sending more American troops into military conflict in Iraq.

Bush and First Lady Laura Bush went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where the soldiers were recovering from wounds suffered during the U.S. military operation.

Bush spent about an hour going room to room visiting with the men and family members.

He called them "incredibly brave soldiers, five of America's finest citizens" and said it had been good to meet their loved ones.

"We should and must provide the best care for anybody who's willing to put their life in harm's way," Bush said.

The five noncommissioned officers, who were not identified by the hospital or the White House, had suffered blast and shrapnel injuries and broken bones, said Jim Stueve, a hospital spokesman. The injuries were not life-threatening.

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