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Former president George Bush poses with USFK servicemembers at Yongsan Garrison on Tuesday.

Former president George Bush poses with USFK servicemembers at Yongsan Garrison on Tuesday. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)

SEOUL — Former President George Bush told U.S. troops in South Korea on Tuesday that the thing he misses most about being president is dealing with the military.

The elder Bush, the 41st U.S. president, spoke to U.S. servicemembers at Seoul’s Yongsan Garrison, headquarters of U.S. Forces Korea, according to an 8th U.S. Army news release. Bush arrived in South Korea on Monday at the invitation of South Korean business leaders and will meet with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

“I am asked what I miss about being president,” said Bush, who held office from 1989 to 1993, “and I have always said the thing I miss most about it is dealing with our superb, all-volunteer, military force.”

He told the troops President George W. Bush supports them and recognizes their importance.

“I think that people at home, and I know this is true of our president, still recognize the fundamental importance … to the national security of the United States and to the national security of Korea,” the former president said.

“So I hope you have a sense of service and I hope you have a sense of the importance … that the American people and this president places on your service to country.”

Bush also underscored the importance of family and faith.

“It’s the family that matters,” he said. “It is critically important to me — family, faith and friends. That’s about where my life is at.”

Army Gen. Leon LaPorte, commander of U.S. forces in Korea, introduced Bush to representatives of USFK major component commands.

“President Bush’s leadership proved critical to the resolution of some of the most daunting conflicts of our time,” LaPorte said. “After 40 years of superpower stalemate, historic events became almost commonplace: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, the end of the Cold War, the flourishing of democracy in Eastern Europe, and, of course, there is Desert Storm.”


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