President expected to speak on Iraq

Bush visits planned at Naval Academy, Baltimore event


President Bush will visit Anne Arundel County today for the third time this year, stopping to make a speech at the Naval Academy before traveling to Baltimore to raise money for Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's U.S. Senate campaign.

He is expected to speak in detail about the Iraq war and mounting calls for troop pullbacks, although it was uncertain what level of detail he would provide about plans.

Bush received a warm welcome when he addressed the academy's Class of 2005 in May, staying to congratulate each graduate and donning a blue academy jacket.

Anita Halsey, a Cecil County resident and mother of senior Midshipman Nisa Halsey, said her daughter found out this weekend that Bush was coming and was "pretty excited."

"She thought she wouldn't get to hear him speak because he spoke at the 2005 graduation" and wouldn't be due back for a few years, Halsey said. "But she was pretty excited that he is coming back."

Anita Halsey said that she hadn't heard that Bush would speak about pullbacks, but she said she would welcome the news if he did. She is a retired Army captain, and most of her family has served in the military.

"When she went to the academy, I had always hoped it would be over before she graduated," Halsey said, referring to her daughter and the war in Iraq. "We all want to serve our country, but we don't want anything bad to happen, either."

Bush visited Anne Arundel Community College in March to discuss his proposals for funding community college coursework that trains local work forces and increasing the number of students who are eligible for such programs.

Bush's speech to the academy in May was his first there since 2001, a few months after he was inaugurated, and before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Annapolis police and White House officials said residents should expect minimal traffic delays, because Bush will travel by helicopter on Marine Corps One and land near the Naval Academy's Alumni Hall.

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