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Bush visits soldiers mending from Afghanistan wounds

Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush on Friday visited soldiers injured in Afghanistan, calling their service ``noble and strong and good.''

Bush and first lady Laura Bush went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where five soldiers are recovering from wounds suffered while serving in Afghanistan.

Bush called them ``incredibly brave soldiers, five of America's finest citizens who have been severely injured in the line of duty.'' He went from room to room, visiting with the men and some of their family members.

``We had a chance to tell both soldier and loved ones alike that their service to our country is noble and strong and good _ I appreciate that very much,'' said Bush, who was teary-eyed after his visit of almost an hour in the hospital's orthopedic ward.

Bush said the care the soldiers were receiving ``is comforting for me and Laura.''

``We should and must provide the best care for anybody who's willing to put their life in harm's way,'' the president said before departing for a weekend at Camp David.

The five men, all noncommissioned officers, suffered a range of blast and shrapnel injuries as well as broken bones, said Jim Stueve, a spokesman for the hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

The soldier there the longest arrived a little over a month ago, and one of the men was being released on Monday. No names were provided by either the hospital or the White House.

``They were genuinely psyched-up,'' said Stueve.
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