President Barack Obama was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence as he offered profuse praise to soldiers and their families during an Aug. 31 speech in Fort Bliss, Texas.

His praise for the soldiers — and for his own national-security policies — won cheers from only a small proportion of the soldiers and families in the cavernous aircraft-hanger.

The audience remains quiet even when the commander-in-chief thanked the soldiers’ families, and cited the 198 deaths of their comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The audience’s reaction was so flat that the president tried twice to elicit a reaction from the crowd.

“Hey, I hear you,” he said amid silence.

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