Former President George W. Bush and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recently surprised a group of wounded veterans in Dallas, according to KXAS-TV.
Bush and Ryan paid a visit to the Adaptive Training Foundation in Dallas, an organization that helps those with life-altering injuries regain strength with customized performance training.
Several times a week, a group of veterans gather at the gym together. During one of their meetings, they received a surprise visit from their former commander in chief. Bush and Ryan met each veteran and spoke with them about their injuries, their recovery, and their service.
One of the veterans in the group received the Purple Heart from Bush, but he doesn’t remember the meeting because he was in a coma at the time.
Carlos Colon was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while serving in Afghanistan in 2008.
“We got ambushed with RPGs, AKs, IEDs and they shot an RPG from a wall and I was on the gun, so it blew up on the side of the glass,” Colon said. “I think when I went through, I went like this and it took my eye, my ear. This side, I am deaf, this one I’ve got a hearing aid. And it took my fingers.”
While Colon lay unconscious in his hospital bed following the attack, Bush pinned the Purple Heart on him. Colon calls the moment his finest moment as a U.S. soldier — although he doesn’t remember it.
“When I woke up, my family told me he pinned me [with] my Purple Heart and then when I got the pictures, I was like,” Colon said, gaping.
“So he pinned me and I never met him,” Colon added. “So I always wanted to meet him. I just wanted to see him, just see him in person and thank him.”
Colon got that opportunity during Bush’s visit to the gym.
“I remember him, but he doesn’t remember me,” Bush said as he was reintroduced to Colon.
“I was sleeping, huh?” Colon replied.
“I wasn’t sure you were going to wake up,” Bush said, adding that he’s glad to see Colon “doing well.”
When Colon told his former commander in chief that he had the pictures of their last meeting framed, Bush replied, “We will get a new picture! You look a lot better now than you did.”
“I love that man,” Colon told KXAS after his exchange with Bush. Colon said that he has no regrets about his service.
“I am proud of every scar, every injury,” Colon said. “And if I could do it again, I would.”
Bush wrote on Facebook that he and Ryan “are in awe of the courage and tenacity we saw” during their visit.
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