After being told that they’d be greeted by special guest Snoop Dogg, a group of wounded military veterans were given the surprise of a lifetime when the visitor turned out to actually be none other than former President George W. Bush.
Bush, along with House Speaker Paul Ryan, dropped into the Adaptive Training Foundation gym, a facility designed to help the veteran community recover from injuries.
“We’ve got a couple of guests. It’s not Snoop Dogg like I told you,” owner Dave Vobora said. “I’d like to welcome Mr. President George W. Bush and House Speaker Paul Ryan!”
The room was ecstatic.
Bush and Ryan didn’t just come for the applause or a photo opportunity either, they went there to personally hear each veteran’s story.
One story that really stood out was that of wounded veteran Carlos Colon, who was awarded the Purple Heart by President Bush as he lay unconscious in a hospital bed in 2008.
He had badly wanted to meet the former President since that time, something he says “was his finest moment as a U.S. soldier.”
For another wounded veteran, meeting George W. Bush held a deeply special meaning.
Carlos Colon was hit by an RPG while deployed in Afghanistan, losing his eye and ear on one side, fingers, and causing other injuries. While he was unconscious in a hospital bed, President Bush visited to personally award him with the Purple Heart.
It was one of the proudest honors of Colon’s life — and he badly wanted to meet and thank the man responsible for it.
“I just wanted to see him, just see him in person and thank him,” Colon previously told NBC DFW.
For Colon, his wish had finally been granted.
Find out more about his story below…
— Meredith Land (@MeredithNBC5) June 6, 2017
Here is an image of Bush’s visit with the wounded warriors, which he posted to his Instagram account.
Speaker @pauldavisryan and I are in awe of the courage and tenacity we saw in the wounded warriors working out at @adaptivetrainingfoundation with @davidvobora. @meredithnbc5 joined us and has the stories tonight at 6 and 10pm on NBC in DFW.
A post shared by George W. Bush (@georgewbush) on Jun 5, 2017 at 1:20pm PDT
President Bush has been a tireless advocate for our veterans and the men and women wounded in the course of fighting for our freedoms. He has participated in numerous fundraisers and awareness events, as well as spending his civilian life painting portraits of military veterans.
Despite everything he went through, Colon said he’d do it again under Bush’s command.
“When I saw him, I was like, ‘Awesome!’ I love that man,” he said. “If I could go again to war, under his command, I would do it. I am really proud.”
“You’re a good man,” Bush responded. “I am really proud of you.”
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