Memorial Day Weekend: The President Who Still Remembers

veteranflagand wheelchairWhen I decided to write about the subject of this blog, on this Memorial Day Weekend, I knew that I would catch a lot of flack.

Former United States President George Walker Bush remains a polarizing figure.

The Bush Derangement Syndrome from the Liberal Side of the Political Aisle is a given. They, following the lead of their president, are still desperately attempting to blame Obama’s failures, in both his Domestic and Foreign Policies, on BOOOSH!, 6 1/2 years into the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

On my side of the aisle, the consensus among Conservatives is that he spent too much.

However, that are three things that Conservatives, and all those with any common sense whatsoever, agree upon:

1. Former President George W. Bush loves our country.

2. Former President George W. Bush loves and honors America’s Brightest and Best, our Fighting Men and Women of our Armed Forces.

3. Thank God, George W. Bush was the President of the United States of America on September 11, 2001…and not Barack Hussein Obama. (mm mmm mmmm)

But, I digress…

bush-soldierThe following is an excerpt from Fox News anchor and political analyst Dana Perino’s new book, “And the Good News Is… Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side”…

The president was scheduled to see 25 patients at Walter Reed. Many of them had traumatic brain injuries and were in very serious, sometimes critical, condition. Despite getting the best treatment available in the world, we knew that some would not survive.

We started in the intensive care unit. The chief of naval operations (CNO) briefed the president on our way into the hospital about the first patient we’d see. He was a young Marine who had been injured when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. After his rescue, he was flown to Landstuhl U.S. Air Force Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany. At his bedside were his parents, wife, and five-year-old son.

“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.

We had to wear masks because of the risk of infection to the patient. I watched carefully to see how the family would react to President Bush, and I was worried that they might be mad at him and blame him for their loved one’s situation. But I was wrong.

The family was so excited the president had come. They gave him big hugs and thanked him over and over. Then they wanted to get a photo. So he gathered them all in front of Eric Draper, the White House photographer.

President Bush asked, “Is everybody smiling?” But they all had ICU masks on. A light chuckle ran through the room as everyone got the joke.

The Marine was intubated. The president talked quietly with the family at the foot of the patient’s bed. I looked up at the ceiling so that I could hold back tears.

After he visited with them for a bit, the president turned to the military aide and said, “Okay, let’s do the presentation.” The wounded warrior was being awarded the Purple Heart, given to troops that suffer wounds in combat.

Everyone stood silently while the military aide in a low and steady voice presented the award. At the end of it, the Marine’s young child tugged on the president’s jacket and asked, “What’s a Purple Heart?”

The president got down on one knee and pulled the little boy closer to him. He said, “It’s an award for your dad, because he is very brave and courageous, and because he loves his country so much. And I hope you know how much he loves you and your mom, too.”

As they hugged, there was a commotion from the medical staff as they moved toward the bed.

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 wounded warrior’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.

I remember my ex-brother-in-law, Dave. My late step-sister met him at the USO in Memphis during the Vietnam War. David was a Polish Catholic from outside of Detroit, a Navy guy who received his training in the computers of the day, while in service to our country. When he got out, they got married and moved to Dearborn (now Dearbornistan), Michigan, where he got a job with Burroughs. I remember Dave, because he was always good to me, even though I was just a runt kid, 15 years younger than him. I remember him cleaning his service rifle, sitting on the living room floor of our house, and, making sure it was empty, allowing me to to hold it. At the time,I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever done.

I also remember John. John was a friend of my sister’s, who stayed with us, because of problems at home. As I have related before, my folks were the ones whom all my sister’s friends would talk to when they had trouble at home. John was great guy, as well, who wound up enlisting and serving in that “crazy Asian War”, as Kenny Rogers and Mel Tillis once referred to it in song.

I have related before about my own Daddy and my Uncles, and their service in World War II. I have also had friends that served over the years, and one who is still serving in the Air National Guard.

All of these men were/are Patriots. They enlisted out of duty to God and Country.

Our Brightest and Best, who wear the uniform today, are no less dedicated. They deserve to be treated with respect, not as pawns in a game of political expediency, whose rules including social experimentation, political correctness, and blatant disrespect by the Commander-in-Chief…

Instead ,as his fellow Democratic Presidents before him, Barack Hussein Obama uses our Best and Brightest as political tools, following the tradition of previous Liberal occupiers of the White House, such as the Clintons, who used them as banquet staff at White House Events, having Marines in dress blues carry trays of munchies.

Our sons and daughters in uniform, both our heroic veterans and those serving and protecting our country today, both deserve and command our respect.

They are not just “Ancillary Staff”, as seems to be the prevailing opinion in the Administration.

The greatest American President in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan, once said,

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

Reagan was a realist. He realized that, as President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt once advised, the best way to keep America safe, is to “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Unfortunately for us, we are presently suffering through a president who speaks like a wuss and carries a feather pillow, a Mexican Flag, and a prayer rug.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

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3 Responses to “Memorial Day Weekend: The President Who Still Remembers”

  1. Jeff Locke Says:

    I am moved. I am unworthy.I appreciate the gift of freedom purchased by the sacrifice to the point of death of the soldiers who enlist freely. Memorial Day at 3:00 pm stand in reverent silence for one full minute. It is the least we can do to honor the fallen on that day.

  2. Scott Payne Says:

    Reviled though he may be, Bush will go down as one of our finest and certainly most honorable presidents.

  3. Joy Mc Says:

    George W. Bush is a good man and this story from Dana Perino brought me to tears. I thank this soldier and his family for their sacrifice because they represent so many others who paid for our freedom with their lives and loved ones. I fear for our country these days and wonder how God can continue to bless us in our blindness and stupidity. Even with the mistakes he might have made, I pray we can once again be led by as fine and decent a man as GW Bush.

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