When it comes to class, it’s hard to top former President George W. Bush, especially when you’re talking about showing support for the military.
It’s evident throughout his years of political service that he has massive respect for the men and women who serve this great nation, and former press secretary Dana Perino recently shared a story in her new book that proves this point elegantly. Have some tissues ready, because this just might start the water works.
Perino writes that back in 2005, Bush was scheduled to meet with 25 patients in the hospital, one of which was a Marine in the intensive care unit who had suffered serious injuries from a roadside bomb.
“What’s his prognosis?” the president asked.
“Well, we don’t know sir, because he’s not opened his eyes since he arrived, so we haven’t been able to communicate with him. But no matter what, Mr. President, he has a long road ahead of him,” said the CNO.
The former press secretary goes on to say the Marine’s family was very excited to see the president and after the initial Purple Heart ceremony, he even took some time and explained to the wounded vet’s son that he was “brave and courageous.” Then something totally unexpected happened.
The Marine had just opened his eyes. I could see him from where I stood. The CNO held the medical team back and said, “Hold on, guys. I think he wants the president.”
The president jumped up and rushed over to the side of the bed. He cupped the Marine’s face in his hands. They locked eyes, and after a couple of moments the president, without breaking eye contact, said to the military aide, “Read it again.”
According to Perino, the president began to weep during the ceremony, which goes to show just how much love this man had for those who give their all to protect our freedoms.
So we stood silently as the military aide presented the Marine with the award for a second time. The president had tears dripping from his eyes onto the Marine’s face. As the presentation ended, the president rested his forehead on the Marine’s for a moment.
Now everyone was crying, and for so many reasons: the sacrifice; the pain and suffering; the love of country; the belief in the mission; and the witnessing of a relationship between a soldier and his Commander in Chief that the rest of us could never fully grasp. (In writing this book, I contacted several military aides who helped me track down the name of the Marine. I hoped for news that he had survived. He did not. He died during surgery six days after the president’s visit. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery and is survived by his wife and their three children.)
As if we all needed another reason to love this man, right?
This guy is pure class.
Our men and women give so much for this country in order to protect our liberty and our lives from those who wish us harm.
It’s refreshing to see someone actually pay respect and honor to these brave warriors who deserve that and so much more for their service.
People can say what they want about President Bush, but there’s no doubt he loved this country and our military.
And you never wondered to whom he bended his knee everyday seeking guidance…