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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:28 AM
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Marine One squadron proud to have served Bush
Marine One squadron proud to have served Bush
By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jan 20, 2009 18:14:22 EST

For the first time in eight years, the Marine helicopter that George W. Bush flew in Tuesday was not called Marine One when he boarded.

It was a day of mixed emotions for the Marines of Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the Quantico, Va.-based unit that regularly carries the president. Squadron members said they were excited to be participating in the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, the nations first African American president, but will miss Bush for his friendship and kindness.

It has been a once in a lifetime, Col. Ray LHeureux, the squadron commander, said of serving Bush. Im not going to lie: to some extent, is bittersweet. He has been extra kind to us and to everyone at the White House Military Office.

LHeureux said he and Bush have cycled together numerous times since he took over as commander of HMX-1, which uses the Marine One call sign only to identify an aircraft on which the president is traveling.

Sgt. Jordan Hardy, a security guard with the squadron, said he hit it off with Bush in part after the former president learned Hardy was from Merkel, Texas, a town of 2,500 people about a three-hour drive from Crawford, where Bush has a ranch.

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