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Obama honors Colorado victims with military ties

Monday - 7/23/2012, 10:37pm  ET

RENO, Nev. (AP) - President Barack Obama has honored four victims of the Colorado theater attack who had ties to the military.

Obama began his first campaign-focused trip since the Colorado shooting by remembering service members and veterans who were killed Friday when a gunman opened fire in a suburban Denver movie theater.

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday, Obama said, "These young patriots were willing to serve in faraway lands, yet they were taken from us at home."

Obama said the nation honors them, adding: "We stand with you as one united American family."

Among those killed in the attack were Jonathan Blunk, a 26-year-old Navy veteran; Jesse Childress, a 29-year-old Air Force cybersystems operator; John Larimer, a 27-year-old-sailor; and Rebecca Wingo, a 32-year-old Air Force veteran.

Obama said he met with families and conveyed the message that "we honor your loved ones. We salute their service."

Referring to the attack and all its victims, he said: "Our hearts still ache."

Later Monday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that all Defense Department installations worldwide were flying their flags at half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)