Bush, 61, has so far met with more than 1,500 relatives of the 4,255 American troops who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to White House officials. As he travels around the country, the president often makes the time to console them -- one family at a time, often including children -- in sessions that he calls ``one of the hardest things'' about his job.
In most of the meetings, the aides say, he hears support for his policies, hardening his resolve to stay the course in Afghanistan and Iraq. Little is otherwise known about the meetings, and the White House doesn't disclose the names of participants.
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