Thank you. Thank you. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome.
Its good to be back at the Naval Academy. Im pleased to provide a convenient excuse for you to miss class.
Its the first year that every class of midshipmen at this academy arrived after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. Each of you have volunteered to wear our nations uniform in a time of war, knowing all the risks and dangers that accompany military service.
Whatever their chosen mission, every previous graduate of the Academy is bringing honor to the uniform and helping us bring victory in the war on terror.
In the years ahead, youll join them in the fight. Your service is needed because our nation is engaged in a war that is being fought on many fronts: from the streets of Western cities to the mountains of Afghanistan, the islands of Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa.
Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in... um... ...in their war against humanity. And so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.
As we fight the enemy in Iraq... ...ahem. As we fight...
As we fight the enemy in Iraq, every man and woman who... ...who volunteers to defend our nation... uh... ...deserves... ...you, you all deserve... ...an unwavering commitment to the mission and a clear strategy for vic...
You know... I just have to say... I just... You know, I just have to say, this... ...this speech Im reading... I just have to say, this is... this speech is... its bullshit. Im sorry, Im sorry. Yes, you heard me right and, no, dont you Secret Service goons dare drag me off this stage. You boys just sit back down. Karl, Andy, all you admirals, you do the same now, you hear?
I want to tell you something. Nobody understands the pressure I deal with. Nobody knows the weight I carry on my shoulders, 24/7. Not even former presidents, at least the ones still living. Its not just the burden of being commander-in-chief or leader of the free world Im talking about. Its so much more than that.
Every day I get up and go here or there, to this place or that, and they stick these freakin speeches in my hand, and I read them, and people even applaud and have their picture taken with me. But they know a lot of them they know. And I know they know. And now youre gonna know that I know, too.
I want to tell... Karl, I mean it. You just sit down and stop agitating all over yourself. And you either turn this microphone back on or Ill just stand here and shout what I have to say...
Thats better. I want to tell you a story about something that just happened to me. An amazing story.