It’s been six years since Obama took office, so it’s easy to forget that we once had a president who respected and loved our veterans. However, an incident from years ago reveals that President George W. Bush had a respect for our servicemen and women that Obama has never had.
In her new book, Bush’s former press secretary Dana Perino reveals why he asked a military aide to perform a purple heart ceremony for the second time during a visit to the Walter Reed military hospital.
When Bush visited the hospital in 2005, he was scheduled to visit 25 patients, many of whom were in serious condition. The first patient he saw was a young marine who had been injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
“What’s his prognosis?” the president asked, according to Perino.
“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 marine’s family was very excited to see Bush, and the president told the soldier’s young son how brave his father was. However, no one expected what happened next.
Perino describes the scene in her book:
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.”
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.)
THIS is the kind of president we desperately need right now. We need someone who treats our soldiers with the love and respect they deserve. We applaud President Bush for paying tribute to our nation’s veterans in a beautiful way!
You won’t see Obama doing this anytime soon…