Romney Thanks National Guard

RENO, NV - Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was in Reno on Monday addressing the National Guard Association. About 3500 guardsmen and women listened to the candidate, who preferred to use the time to thank them for their service instead of draw stark contrasts between him and the president.

Romney received a warm welcome from National Guard Association members.

This group represents guard members while in Washington, and addresses issues like medical, retirement,and educational benefits. Equipment and base issues will also be brought to policy makers' attention with the the help of the National Guard Association.

“I want to personally thank you for keeping us safe. It's inspiring to be in the company of men and women of the national guard,” said Romney.

And that was the general message Romney had for the the group.

He talked about where he was during 9/11--eleven years ago.

He was in D.C. examining security issues for the upcoming Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

He says he saw one side of the Pentagon in rubble

“It smelled like fuel, concrete, and steel it was the smell of war,” Romney told the group.

Romney added he wished he could tell them the world was less dangerous.

But he wanted to assure them they were in no danger of losing their benefits--medical,educational, job training were safe.

That those benefit were quote: “Not a gift but a debt due.”

He noted a strong VA system, but one where there is a backlog of a million applicants.

That there was too much waste in the system, and the veterans high rate of suicide was a tragedy.

But that's as close as Romney came to a candidate on this 9/11.

True to his word Romney said with just two months from election day he could draw comparisons between him and his opponent--that he said would be set aside for another day.

Romney's running mate took the day to thank guard members in his home state of Wisconsin.

Shortly after landing in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Paul Ryan spoke to about 80 member of the Wisconsin 128th Air National Guard refueling wing.