[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,
I guess I feel like all Americans tonight: We're sorry that about 40,000 of your comrades at arms can't be here.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think this is a great country. And it's a lot better off with you fellas back here.
I think it's wonderful of the President to bring us all together like this tonight. I'm happy all you fellas and your families could get here to be with him.
I feel pretty good that he has this chance to meet you all because you all have a lot in common: You hung in there when the goin' was rough -- so did he. Stuck by your guns -- You stuck by your guns and so did he. You love this blessed country and so does he -- and so do all of us.
You men, I wanna say thanks for showing the whole world the kind of men a free country can put up when the going gets rough.
You're the best we have, and I'll ride off into the sunset with ya anytime.
Just one more thing before I sit down: I wanna thank you, Mr. President, not for any one thing -- just for everything.
Copyright Status: Text, Audio = Public domain.