THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Ramstein, Germany) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release May 5, 1999
READ OUT TO THE POOL BY JOE LOCKHART Ramstein Air Base, Germany
5:51 P.M. (L)
MR. LOCKHART: Let me do just a quick read out. I'm not going to give you too much, because it was private sessions. But I'll give you -- right inside here. This is obviously the lounge for the 86th Airlift Wing.
When the President walked in he was met by the three servicemen, they were standing at attention. He basically -- he told me he was glad to see them. Staff Sergeant Stone said they were just glad to be free. Stone actually -- the President asked them some basic questions of how they were -- he did most of the talking. I'll leave it to them to do the details on that.
The President then said to the group of three of them, after about a minute they went and sat down, the President stood -- they sat in three chairs. The President, after talking to them for probably about four or five minutes, said, let's go see your families. Each of their families were in a different -- one was in this room, one in the next room over and another one in a hallway. The President went in and spent about five minutes with each of them.
The Stone family had about six people there -- mother, father, wife, son -- we'll get you a sheet. He went there first, spent about five minutes, paid particular attention to Sergeant Stone's son, Ryan, they got on quite well. They talked for a little bit, took pictures with the family. At one point, Albright, Berger and Cohen went in, did another round of pictures -- and Shelton. He then moved to the -- talked the Ramirez family.
Q Which was next?
MR. LOCKHART: Ramirez. It was a mother, father, brother, sister-in-law and niece, I believe -- five people, again, we'll get you a list. So, again, spent about five minutes in there, talked to them. The President made a special remark to his mother, told Ramirez that, you would have been very proud of your mother, she was very strong, she was out on television and she was very strong. Told him how proud his family was of him.
And from there, went to the last, which was the Gonzalez group, which was three, which was the mother, father and aunt. He's just in there now and they'll probably break up in a minute.
Q Thank you, Joe.