After several weeks of almost non-stop travel, President Bush is home at his Texas ranch for America's Thanksgiving holiday. Mr. Bush is planning a few quiet days with his family far from the politics and rhetoric of Washington.
The president is planning to stay out of the spotlight throughout his holiday visit to the ranch.
Several years ago, Mr. Bush surprised the press and the public by slipping away on Thanksgiving eve for a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq. Aides say they are not readying his jumbo jet for another trip this Thanksgiving. But as he prepared to leave Washington for his holiday break, the president said Americans serving abroad are very much on his mind these days, along with the families they left behind.
"It's through the courage and skill of our armed forces that we are safe as a nation," said Mr. Bush. "And we are very proud of their service. We think of our military families who will have an empty seat at the table this Thanksgiving. The American people are thankful for their sacrifice of American military families as well."
According to the White House, the president's Thanksgiving celebration will be a traditional affair, with three generations of the Bush family gathered around the table for a meal of turkey and all the trimmings. His daughters Jenna and Barbara will be there, along with his parents.
Former President George Bush and his wife Barbara will only spend the day at the ranch. The rest of the family is expected to remain throughout the long holiday weekend.