Ladies and gentlemen of the hospital staff and ladies and gentlemen of the press:
As I leave Bethesda after the first stay in the hospital since 13 years ago when I was at Walter Reed, I want to express my appreciation to all of the doctors, the nurses, the hospital corpsmen, and the others who have given me such wonderful attention since I have been here.
I just have been up calling on Congressman Landgrebe, of Indiana, who had a heart attack, and he agrees with me that certainly the service here is the very best.
But what is even more important, the kindness, the thoughtfulness of all of the people here has deeply touched me; it touched him and everybody who is here. I know from some experience--not too much experience in a hospital, but from having visited many people in a hospital-that what matters far more, when that nurse comes in and gives you that thermometer, or whatever else she has to give you--some bad tasting medicine or whatever the case may be--it isn't her competence that matters so much, but it is the fact that she smiles, she lifts you, she makes you feel better. The same is true of the corpsmen.
And I must say the spirit of Bethesda, the spirit of the Navy, and I must say, also, the spirit of all of our people who serve the armed services in the medical divisions, is one that emphasizes high excellence and also a great human feeling from the heart.
I got out a little earlier than they expected me to. I think part of the reason was that I had good medical advice and took it. And another reason is that I had a very great lift from all the people who served me so well while I was here.
Thank you very much. I have to get back to work, and now you can go back to work, too.