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For Thanksgiving 2003, former President George W. Bush traveled to Iraq without the knowledge of much of the media or troops overseas. Bush joined our men and women in uniform in Baghdad, to thank them for their service and remind them how much they are loved.

Bush was introduced by L. Paul Bremer, then the most senior civilian in Iraq, who was charged with reading a letter from the president to the troops.

When Bremer reached the podium, he wondered if there was anyone more senior on base, moments later, President Bush appeared.

“Thanks for inviting me to dinner, ” Bush said.

“I can’t think of finer folks to have Thanksgiving dinner with than you all,” after joking that he was just looking for a “warm meal.”

On the flight home to Texas, Bush explained why he took the trip.

“I thought it was important to send that message that we care for them (the troops) and we support them strongly, that we erase any doubts in their minds as to whether or not the people stand with them,” Bush said.

“Having seen the reaction of those troops, you know it was the right thing to do.”

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