Obama to address Air Force graduates in Colorado

KEN THOMAS Associated Press Published:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is delivering his final commencement speech of the season, addressing graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy before pivoting to political fundraising out West.

Obama is keeping up a presidential tradition of speaking to one of the service academies every year at graduation time.

His speech comes after a diplomatic flurry in which he hosted the NATO summit in Chicago, where allies cemented an exit strategy for the Afghanistan war, and an economically focused G-8 summit at the Camp David retreat in Maryland.

Obama has used service academy addresses in the past to discuss the role of the military in protecting American interests in an age of war and terrorism. Since 2009, Obama has delivered commencement addresses at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

The president this year also spoke to graduating classes at Barnard College in New York, and at Joplin High School in Joplin, Mo., where a massive tornado killed 161 people last year and injured hundreds more.

Following his speech, the president was headed to fundraisers in Denver and California's Silicon Valley.

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