Schwarzenegger Pumps Up Troops

Morale-boosting mission included dinner, workout

YE Obama
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had dinner and a gym session with troops in Iraq Monday as part of a morale-boosting trip to the war-torn region.

The bodybuilder-turned Hollywood actor-turned politician was greeted by cheers and applause as he went into the dining hall at Camp Victory on Baghdad's outskirts. He congratulated the troops, shook hands and signed autographs, then posed for some snapshots with some of the starstruck soldiers.

Next on the schedule was a bit of iron-pumping with the troops. As if they needed to hear it, he reminded them about the importance of staying fit with a version of the familiar phrase coined in the SNL skits: "You have to pump up every day."

It wasn't all just exercise and eating for Schwarzenegger. He also had presents for the troops -- cigars, which he handed out to the crowd. He thanked the troops for their sacrifices they and their families are making.

Schwarzenegger has a military background. He was a tank driver in the Austrian army in 1965. He admits to going temporarily AWOL during basic training so he could compete in a bodybuilding competition (which he won). The governor still owns an Austrian tank and last year had it shipped to California from an Ohio museum.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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