President Bush has started the new year by visiting wounded troops at a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
The president traveled from his ranch in Crawford to the medical facility at Fort Sam Houston earlier today. A White House spokesman said he would award nine Purple Hearts to wounded soldiers.
Mr. Bush is expected to return to Washington later today, wrapping up his week-long Christmas holiday in Texas.
Mr. Bush faces several key issues at the start of the new year, including lobbying Congress to reapprove the Patriot Act, ushering his Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito through the Senate confirmation process, and overseeing military deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq as some lawmakers call for troop withdrawals.