Fri., April 27, 2012 4:34pm (EDT)

Obamas Visit Fort Stewart
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 2 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walked through "Warrior's Walk" at Ft. Stewart.  The tree-lined walk memorializing fallen soldiers is shown in this file photo.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walked through "Warrior's Walk" at Ft. Stewart. The tree-lined walk memorializing fallen soldiers is shown in this file photo. (photo Orlando Montoya)
President Obama signed an executive order Friday targeting diploma mills that agressively market to veterans.

The President signed the order at an Army base in Georgia.

The order addresses complaints about fraud.

Some veterans say, their transitions from battlefields to classrooms have been marred by aggressive colleges that seem more interested in their military benefits than giving them an education.

The government can do little to shut the schools down.

But the President's order will make it harder for the colleges to misrepresent themselves.

Mr. Obama told soldiers and their families at Ft. Stewart, the schools' actions are "disgraceful."

"They're trying to swindle and hoodwink you," President Obama said. "And today here at Ft. Stewart, we're going to put an end to it."

The order requires more disclosure of costs and graduation rates.

It also seeks to trademark the term "GI Bill" so officials can crack down on its abuse.

First Lady Michelle Obama joined the President on the brief Georgia visit.

She talked about a program to employ veterans and -- like her husband -- heaped praise on the daily work of soldiers.

"I am in awe of you," Michelle Obama said. "I'm in awe of your families, the spouses who run their households all alone, the kids who step up and succeed at school and stay strong through all the challenges they face."

Before addressing the crowd, the Obamas walked slowly, hand in hand, along Fort Stewart's "Warriors Walk."

That's a wide path lined with 441 trees, each memorializing a fallen soldier.

The soldiers who turned out to see the Obamas say, they're starting families, looking to buy their first homes and considering civilian careers.

Few seemed put off that President Barack Obama's visit focused on college benefits rather than combat missions.

"This is an honor," said SSG Enrae Johnson, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. "For someone to say they want us to be part of this day, its a big deal. It's something we'll tell our kids and grandkids. It means we're good soldiers who uphold the Army values"

Soldiers of the base's 3rd Infantry Division say that after four tours of duty in the recently ended Iraq war, they're also looking beyond a life of constant deployments.


Contributors: Associated Press and the White House Pool contributed to this report.