During President Obama's refueling stop at Elmendorf Air Force Base on Thursday, he did what a wartime commander in chief needs to do: Pay honest, heartfelt tribute to the troops. He expressed profound gratitude and unequivocal commitment to the men and women in uniform and their families.
He thanked specific units. He honored the recently fallen and their loved ones.
He spoke as the commander in chief should, with clarity and heart. His audience responded in kind.
The president made no major policy announcement and he steered clear of partisan subjects. The closest he came to controversial ground was when he spoke of cancelling some weapons programs the Pentagon didn't want. By doing so, he said, the nation can put more resources into supporting the troops, both in combat and when they return home from service.
This was a salute from the top to people who have earned it.
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