Former Press Secretary for George W. Bush, Dana Perino, has a new book out about her tenure during the Bush Administration entitled, “And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side.”
One of the stories from the book is certainly raising some eyebrows about the former president. She describes a visit to Walter Reed military hospital by the then president during 2005. One of the men the president was visiting was a Marine who was in intensive care.
“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 president and his aides then proceeded to carry out the purple heart ceremony for the young, unconscious marine.
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 type of emotion rarely gets talked about or shared and we need to do more of this don’t we? Add your comments below. Let us know what you think about this great story.
H/T – Dana Perino New Book