Mom meets Bush

Published 11:36 pm Monday, June 25, 2007

By by Lydia Grimes – features reporter
President George W. Bush strode into the room with one question: &#8220Where is Gail Williams?”
Williams, a Brewton resident who lost her son in 2005 to a roadside bomb in Iraq, met the president Thursday in Mobile.
Bush was in south Alabama to speak at a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
Bush asked to meet with Williams after he received a letter of support from her, hand-delivered by U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile.
Bush met with Williams and her family just after giving his speech at the Sessions fundraiser at the Mobile Civic Center.
Echoing what he said in a phone call to Williams last week, the president told her how much he appreciated her letter.
In the meantime, First Lady Laura Bush entered the room and gathered Williams' grandchildren around her.
Williams presented the president and Mrs. Bush with books and angel figures from her business, the Christian bookstore, It is Written. In return, Williams and her family received a few small gifts.
The family almost missed their opportunity to meet the president.
After being turned away from several entrances at the civic center, Williams tried to contact the Secret Service member who had been assigned to her and having no luck, she contacted President Bush's secretary who made the connection for her.
Having passed that hurdle, Williams and her family were escorted inside and shown to a room where they waited about 10 minutes while the president finished his speech.
When the president arrived in the room, his first words were, &#8220Where is Mrs. Williams?”
Williams said she has already thought of things she wished she had told the president, although she made sure to express her support of the war.
Williams lost her son in Iraq on July 14, 2005, but she still maintains her belief that the military is representing the country well in Iraq.
Williams said she recently learned of the discovery of an orphanage in Iraq where children were tied to their beds and starving to death, not only from lack of food, but also the lack of contact with other human beings.
Some U.S. soldiers found the orphanage and immediately set out to help the children.

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