President visits Charleston, addresses military members

  • Published
  • By Airman Melissa White
  • 437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
President George W. Bush visited servicemembers and talked about the war on terrorism July 24 at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. 

The president toured a C-17 Globemaster III, observed Airmen loading pallets on a plane in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, gave a speech, and had lunch with servicemembers.

"When we have somebody in harm's way, they deserve full support of Congress and the president -- and you all have the full support of Congress and the president," he said. "I say that there will be a big defeat in Iraq, and I say it will be the defeat of al-Qaida. America can accept nothing less than complete victory."

The president talked about Iraq and its affiliates during his speech. He also discussed the efforts and achievements of Charleston AFB Airmen in the war on terrorism and how every military member in every branch is helping our nation in the war. President Bush addressed a crowd of 300 military members including 165 Airmen, 45 Sailors, 25 Marines and five Coast Guardsmen during the luncheon.

"President George Bush decided to come to Charleston and commend our Airmen for what they do best -- taking the fight to the enemy," said Col. John Millander, the 437th Airlift Wing commander. Represented here today are the Airmen who fly, fight and win."
President Bush came to the base in response to an invitation from Sen. Lindsey Graham to speak to military members about their important role in the war on terrorism. 

"This is an opportunity to showcase the great men and women serving with distinction at Charleston AFB," Senator Graham said. "You will not find a more supportive military community. The contributions being made by our military members at the Air Force base are historic."

"Everyone out here swells with pride knowing the job they do is important," said Col. Mark Bauknight, the 315th Airlift Wing acting commander. "It just means so much more to them to have the president look them in the eye and commend their efforts."

Comment on this story (comments may be published on Air Force Link)

Click here to view the comments/letters page