The Salute


Have you noticed a difference in the salute given by our military men and

women as President Bush walks by?  Most folks would not notice anything, but

military people see it right away.  Watch:  When President Bush leaves his

helicopter or Air Force One, the honor guards salute and face him as he

disembarks, then turn their faces towards him as he passes by.  They

continue to salute his back as he walks away. This kind of salute has not

been seen in the previous eight years, though it is customary courtesy to

the Commander-in-Chief.  You see, soldiers aren't required to turn and face

the President as they salute.  They are not required to salute his back.

They are only required to salute.  They can remain face-forward the entire



And that is what they did during Bill Clinton's entire Presidency.  Our

soldiers were forced to obey Clinton's orders, but they were not forced to

respect him.  From their salutes, we can surmise that they did not.


Why is such respect afforded to President Bush?  He doesn't even know how to

bite his lower lip and not get teary-eyed whenever he speaks!


The following incident from Major General Van Antwerp may give us an

insight.  Gen. Antwerp is President of the Officers' Christian Fellowship.

He lost nearly all his staff when the Pentagon was attacked Sept. 11.  His

executive officer LTC Brian Birdwell was badly burned and in the hospital

when President Bush visited him.  Our President spent time and prayed with

Brian.  As he was getting ready to leave, he went to the foot of Brian's bed

and saluted.  He held his salute until Brian was able to raise his burned

and bandaged arm, ever so slowly, in return.  The Commander-in-Chief never

initiates a salute, except in the case of a Congressional Medal of Honor

winner.  The injured soldier did not have to return the salute.  But he did,

out of respect to his President - a Soldiers' President.  Congressman JC

Watts (R. Oklahoma) said, "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is

looking."  The nation and world learned some of what our last President did

when nobody was looking.  That President has been disbarred this week - the

worst disgrace (other than imprisonment) to a lawyer.  CNN will have a

difficult time shining his or his wife's tarnished images.  In this time of

war and danger, I am so grateful to have a President whom the soldiers

salute - fully.


On Special Report with Brit Hume, (hosted by Jim Angle this evening), at the

close of the show when they normally have some funny video clip, they showed

President Bush and the First Lady on their way to Marine One to leave for

Camp David for the weekend.  As the video starts, the First Lady is leading

the way into the helicopter with the spaniel dog on the leash, and the

President is right behind her with the Scotty on the leash.  As the First

Lady entered the chopper, the Marine at the gangway saluted and held his

salute.   The Scottie the President was walking decided it wanted to squat

right when he got to steps.  The President pulled on its' leash, but the

stubborn Scottie persisted in squatting.  The President bent down and

scooped up the pooch and entered Marine One.  After he entered, the Marine

cut his salute and returned to the position of attention.  Moments later the

President reemerged from the helicopter and out onto the steps.  The Marine

was standing at attention, head and eyes straight ahead.  The President

leaned over and tapped him on the left arm.  The startled Marine turned his

body toward the President and received his returned salute!  I was so

impressed by this true act of respect for our military people by our

President!  He really does get it.  Most any other person of his stature

would have just continued his journey, disregarding the neglected return

salute.  Not George W. Bush.  He is earning the respect of the military

community, not expecting it-as most have and would.


Subj: Our President George W. Bush  The man who admitted to having a

drinking problem in younger years, and whose happy-go-lucky lifestyle led

him to mediocre grades in college and an ill-fated oil venture.  Who mangled

syntax, and whose speaking mis-steps became known as "Bushisms."  He came

within a hair's breadth of losing the election in November.  While votes

were counted and re-counted, Bush quietly but confidently waited at his

ranch.  Make no mistake, his orders were carried out, but he stayed in the

background, faithful and confident.  Bush named Jesus Christ as Lord of his

life on public TV.  Not an oblique reference to being "born-again" or having

a "life change."  He actually said the un-PC-like phrase, "Jesus Christ!"


On September 11, he was thrust into a position only known by Roosevelt,

Churchill, Lincoln, and Washington.  The weight of the world was on his

shoulders, and the responsibility of a generation was on his soul.


So President George W. Bush walked to his seat at the front of the National

Cathedral just three days after two of the most impressive symbols of

American capitalism and prosperity virtually evaporated.  When the history

of this time is written, it will be acknowledged by friend and foe alike

that President George W. Bush came of age in that cathedral and lifted a

nation off its knees.  In what was one of the most impressive exhibitions of

self-control in Presidential history, President George W. Bush was able to

deliver his remarks without losing his resolve, focus, or confidence. God's

hand, which guided him through that sliver-thin election, now rested fully

on him.


As he walked back to his seat, the camera angle was appropriate.  He was

virtually alone in the scene, alone in that massive place with God, just him

and the Lord.  Back at his seat, George H. Bush reached over and took his

son's hand.  In that gesture his father seemed to say, "I wish I could do

this for you, son, but I can't.  You have to do this on your own."

President George W. Bush squeezed back and gave him a look of peace that

said, "I don't have to do it alone, Dad. I've got help."  What a blessing to

have a professing Christian as President.



Please take a moment after you read this to "pray for him".

He truly does have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Pray that God

will sustain him and give him wisdom and discernment in his decisions. Pray

for his protection and that of his family. After you have prayed, send this

to everyone on your e-mail list. Our President needs Christians around the

world to be praying for him. As this makes the e-mail rounds, eventually

there could literally be millions of people praying for him.