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Friday, August 31, 2012 - 19:54
EL PASO — President Barack Obama talked to 5,000 soldiers and their families on Fort Bliss on Friday. Soldiers were encouraged by his remarks.
"It's really exciting to see our Commander in Chief. It obviously means that we're on his radar. It means that he's paying attention to Fort Bliss and El Paso," said soldier John Bockmann.
"I think it's awesome to hear him say that the base is still behind us and the government is behind us," said Nathan Berkley.
The Commander in Chief outlined his promise to provide better access to mental healthcare for military members.
"I've signed a new executive order to give our troops, our veterans and our families better access to mental healthcare," said President Obama.
Soldiers said the president's pledge is encouraging.
"It's encouraging. It means that our highest level of politics is paying attention to the needs of our veterans," said Bockmann.
"I had a chance to go to the WCU and talk to different soldiers with those mental issues coming from deployment. It's a lot of help that's needed there and there's a lot of funding needed down there to support that program," said Berkley.
Minutes before his speech, President Obama talked to several families in a private round table discussion.
Teresa Loeza was in the round table with the president. Her husband Robert died three months ago in Afghanistan.
"He talked to us about any concerns and anything that we might need in terms of what families go through losing a solider," said Loeza.
Loeza hopes his promises are kept.
"He seems sincere and I really hope that he pulls through with everything that he's telling everybody,” said Loeza. “I've lost my husband already but there's so many other soldiers."