updated 11/10/2008 6:05:19 PM ET 2008-11-10T23:05:19

President Bush on Monday visited wounded U.S. troops and said their treatment and progress was inspiring.

Bush met privately for more an hour with 18 patients who were injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also presented six Purple Hearts during his stop at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The president said workers at medical center show compassion and skill in treating the nation's wounded service men and women.

"It's inspiring to see the hard work," Bush said. "It's also inspiring to see the courage of the patients."

Bush noted the progress some patients had made since he had seen them six months ago.

"I came back, and they're totally different looking people," he said. "That's because of the good health care. It's also because of their mental framework. They've decided that nothing's going to get them down, and they battled back."

Bush has visited the Maryland medical center 10 times while president. His latest came on the 233rd birthday of the Marine Corps. November is also Warrior Care Month.

"It's been an honor to be the commander in chief of such fine men and women," Bush told reporters as he left the facility.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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