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Both former President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were on hand to welcome the troops as part of the Welcome Home a Hero program. From the Star Telegram:
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush joined 33 kids participating in the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee's SLANT 45 project to give service members perhaps the most memorable moment since the Welcome Home Heroes initiative started in November 2004.
"Today was one of the best if not the best day we ever had," said Lt. Col. Patrick McAfee, who has overseen the program for three years. "It was phenomenal, and the bottom line is that these service members had the shock of their lives. Kids being there gives special meaning to us soldiers, and the president and first lady were there just like regular people."
McAfee said that about 40 people, among them retirees and veterans, show up almost daily to help welcome home soldiers with ovations as they depart customs and enter the main terminal. More than 750,000 service members have been welcomed as part of the program, he said, and some troops make special requests to route their return through D/FW.
Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta is the only other airport with a Welcome Home Heroes program.
McAfee said the Bushes took photos with the kids and an individual photo with each of the returning service members, as well as with veterans and family members who were present.
"They went above and beyond anything I can ever have imagined," McAfee said.