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Bush visits the 167th

July 05, 2007|By KEVIN G. GILBERT / Staff Photographer

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For President Bush, spending the Fourth of July in West Virginia has become almost an annual tradition.

This year, he came to the Eastern Panhandle, visiting with members of the West Virginia Air National Guard's 167th Airlift Wing and their families at the base south of Martinsburg, W.Va.

Bush's speech focused on the war on terror, and he shook hands, gave hugs and posed for pictures before leaving.

He also autographed a variety of items, including a 167th Airlift Wing baseball cap from Ralph Funk of Hancock, who spent 21 years as a member of the Air National Guard unit.

"This is an honor," Funk said.

Bush also credited Guard members, saying they always have been willing to don the uniform and face threats when they arise.

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"I'm blessed to be here with you," he said.

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