President Bush Thanks Volunteers In South Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

President Bush Thanks Volunteers In South Mississippi

After a quick meet and greet with local dignitaries, President Bush made his way to Beauvoir United Methodist Church in Biloxi, a campground for thousands of volunteers from Hands On USA since shortly after Katrina struck. His message was simple.

"Good job," Bush tells one volunteer. "I appreciate you."

He thanked the volunteers and encouraged others to continue to follow their noble example.

"If you could walk in there today and see what these volunteers have done for me," Biloxi resident Daisy Guyton told President Bush, choking back tears.

"Without the volunteers, I would not have made it. I had already retired and I thought I was set. And after 50 years of everything I had, in a matter of hours it was gone. I had nothing but what I had on my back."

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway was also on hand to welcome the commander-in-chief.

"I believe this is about his 11th trip here and we're going to make him buy a car tag if he comes again."

But all joking aside, Mayor Holloway also used the opportunity to lobby for the $700 million project to relocate the CSX rail line. The move would create a new east-west highway along the coast. Extra spending that is currently under debate in Congress and opposed by the President.

"It can be a real break for the county to be able to get it funded," says Holloway. "Of course that's a heck of a way to do it, but I guess we'll take it any way we can get it."

But on this day, politics took a back seat to praise for hurricane survivors, and those who continue to sacrifice their time and efforts to help them reclaim their lives, no charge.

by Don Culpepper

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