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VIA News One

The dramatic image of a president on the tarmac was a portrait not witnessed in years. Former President George W. Bush spent lots of time with grieving military families but never went to Dover to meet the remains coming off the cargo plane. Obama did so with the weight of knowing he may soon send more troops off to war.

For all the talk of his potential troop increase — maybe 40,000, maybe some other large figure — Obama got a grim reminder of the number that counts: one.

His name was Dale R. Griffin, an Army sergeant from Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the last fallen soldier to come before Obama. And his remains were the only ones to be honored in full view of the media with the permission of his family. An 18-year ban on such coverage was lifted this year under Obama’s watch.

The president led a team of officials onto the gray C-17 cargo plane carrying Griffin, and then back off, where they stood for several minutes in a line of honor.

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