Bush Arrives In The Southland
LOS ANGELES -- President Bush, arriving in California for a fundraising swing, stopped on the tarmac of Los Angeles International Airport to present an 85-year-old physician with a medal for his work with a volunteer group established to assist during natural disasters or a terrorist attack.
Bush awarded Dr. Raymond D. Goodman, 85, the President's Volunteer Service Award during the Thursday afternoon ceremony. Bush was in Los Angeles to attend a Republican National Committee fundraiser.
"The president thanked me for my work," Goodman told The Associated Press by phone minutes after the ceremony. "The award is an honor for me, my family and thousands of volunteers around the country."
Goodman is medical director of the Los Angeles branch of the Medical Reserve Corps, a national volunteer group set up after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks in 2001.
There are more than 300 reserve units nationwide. In Los Angeles, Goodman said, the group has 500 volunteer doctors and 100 chaplains.
Goodman, a former professor at UCLA's school of public health, has been director of the Los Angeles branch since it was created three years ago.
Bush headed from the airport to the fundraiser. On Friday, he was scheduled to speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
The opening of the pavilion is the realization of Reagan's plan that everyday Americans should be able to share Air Force One. Once the exhibit opens to the public Monday, visitors
Bush and first lady Laura Bush will pay their respects to Reagan, who died last year, by placing a wreath at his memorial. They also plan to tour the library and eat lunch there before flying back east for a weekend at Camp David.
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