Obama leaves Phoenix after speech to VFW members

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PHOENIX -- President Barack Obama has left Phoenix on board Air Force One after giving a speech to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars gathered at the group's annual convention.

Pres. Obama in Phoenix

People turn out to welcome Obamas - President Obama and his family were welcomed to the Valley on Saturday and dined at Macayo's before staying at the Phoenician.

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The president told the veterans that "the true strength of our military lies in the spirit and skill of our men and women in uniform."

He also pledged to maintain or expand their benefits, fight waste in military procurement and to only send troops into battle when it is absolutely necessary, based on good intelligence and with a clear strategy.

He also said one thing that any health care reform proposal won't change is veterans health care.

Outside, the Phoenix Convention Center, a small number of protesters held signs against Obama's health care proposals while others called for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, dozens of Obama supporters chanted the president's name and banged on a giant drum on one street corner.

Obama tours Grand Canyon, prepares to speak in Phoenix

PHOENIX - President Barack Obama arrived at the Grand Canyon National Park with his family for a visit Sunday morning as part of his three day visit to Arizona.

The president left Phoenix at about 9:30 on Sunday morning for the short flight to the canyon. The Obamas had been expected to spend about seven hours at the scenic wonder, but now will spend less than four hours there before returning to Phoenix.

The president's Grand Canyon visit is billed as a private affair and he doesn't plan any public events.

Obama arrived in Arizona on Saturday evening on the last leg of a swing through western states that includes visits to national parks and town hall meetings. He plans a speech at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix on Monday.

The First Family dined at Macayo's restaurant Saturday night and stayed at the Phoenician.

On Monday around 10:30 a.m. President Obama will address the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention at the Phoenix Convention Center. Azfamily.com will carry the speech live here on the site.

Following are the downtown Phoenix traffic restrictions that we know of. There will be rolling restrictions as the president makes his way through downtown.

-3rd Street will be closed to vehicular traffic between Monroe and Washington Streets from approximately 4am - 1pm. VFW delegates and the media will be allowed access on 3rd Street.

-5th Street will be closed to both pedestrians and vehicles between Monroe and Washington Streets from approximately 4am - 1:00pm.

-Monroe Street will also be closed between 3rd and 5th Streets from approximately 10am - 1pm.

-The sidewalk on the north side of Washington between 3rd and 5th Streets (south of Convention Center) will be closed until approximately 1pm.