There is a scene in the first episode of Band of Brothers that keeps sticking with me. It's the evening of June 5th 1944. Since England was on double day light savings time during the war it's probably ten or eleven at night. Still daylight but getting close to sundown.
The troops are so loaded with equipment they can barely move. In the staging area by one plane the lieutenant goes to each man sitting on the ground, helps him up and looks him in the eye and wishes him luck as they head for the plane. These men are sworn to obey and perhaps die under his command. By end of June 6th 1945 this young lieutenant will be in command of Easy company. By the end of the war he will be in command of three of the companies in their regiment and he's still looking every man in the eye.
If I could tell president Bush one thing it would be this. You be there when a unit ships out for the Middle East. Not for a photo op. Not for a speech. Not somebody from your staff. You. Just be there and look each trooper in the eye when they head for the transport. These people are sworn to obey your orders and perhaps to die under your command. The least you can do is look them in the eye and wish them God speed when they head out.
When a unit comes back, you be there. You look them in the eye and thank them for what they did under your command. Just be there damn it!