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President George W. Bush snubbed America’s 20 million veterans Sunday, hiding out at his Texas ranch on yet another vacation while sending Vice President Dick Cheney, a draft-dodger during the Vietnam War, to Arlington National Cometary for Veterans Day ceremonies.
Bush, who has spent more time on “vacation” than any President in history, made a brief trip to a local American Legion Hall near his Crawford, Texas, ranch for a ceremony honoring four Lone Star vets who have died in Iraq but skipped the traditional Presidential appearance at Arlington.
The snub was just the latest insult from a President who evaded wartime service in Vietnam by using family connection to enter the Texas Air National Guard and then failed to complete even that rudimentary service.
Bush dispatched Cheney, who used multiple determents to avoid service during the Vietnam ear, to Arlington — a move that also angers veterans who served their country in war.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Bush used his vacation and Veterans Day for political purposes.
Reports The Associated Press:
The White House had said Bush was going to also use his Veterans Day speech to scold Congress for not sending him a veterans spending bill. But the president finished without any reference to the bill or Congress.
“In their sorrow, these families need to know — and families all across our nation of the fallen — need to know that your loved ones served a cause that is good and just and noble,” Bush said. “And as their commander in chief, I make you this promise: Their sacrifice will not be in vain.”
He went to American Legion Post 121, which was honoring four Texas men who were among the more than 3,860 members of the U.S. military who have died in Iraq since 2003
Reports AFP on Cheney’s appearance at Arlington:
“America may be a country founded in revolution, but we’ve never been a warrior culture. We are a democracy, defended by volunteers,” Cheney said in a speech at Virginia’s Arlington Cemetery, hailing the armed forces as “truly extraordinary.”
“They’ve thrown back tyrants, liberated death camps, carried out heroic rescues, and kept the peace in volatile regions. Above all, they have kept us free in the land we call home,” he said.
While honoring veterans from World War I to the present conflict in Iraq, Cheney expressed hope that the US military would achieve victory from its engagement in Iraq and quoted top commander General David Petraeus as saying the troops were doing a “magnificent job.”
“The conduct of our military today, as throughout our nation’s history, makes this country very proud,” Cheney said.
“And it’s our prayer that they’ll return in victory, safely home, to live out their lives and to be here to observe many Veterans Days to come.”