Former President Bush Rides with Wounded Warriors
Raising awareness for wounded veterans
- Duration 11:06
- Date May 31, 2011
Raising awareness for wounded veterans
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And welcome back.
Fourteen heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
All now dealing with serious injuries the loss of arms and legs was serious brain trauma.
As we just told you they recently gathered to test their metal.
In a grueling 100 K mountain biking challenge hosted by the man who was their commander in chief.
I was also invited to join up at a remote spot in west texts.
The big bend area of southwest Texas a desert landscape of endless vistas.
Framed by mountains and towering views a place where temperatures can soared well above 100 degrees by day.
And plunged to near freezing at night it was on this on for giving ground that fourteen wounded veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Waited for their former commander in chief to take part in the warrior 100 K bike -- -- -- -- -- comment.
You and the -- -- that name and normal and mad.
For the heroes it would be a test of their skills and fortitude.
For President Bush it was an opportunity to raise awareness of the wounded veterans themselves.
And they're proud spirit access to assert its you and for me it was a chance to observe an up close and unprecedented gathering.
Of wounded warriors.
And their former press.
Ready ready ready yet.
I really don't miss much about Washington.
-- -- don't think and but I do and there's been active manager it's an unbelievable experience.
To salute men and women who wear our uniform volunteer in the face of danger.
And this is one way for me -- my gratitude and -- we've.
To be -- -- army sergeant Sam still who was injured by and I ED.
Can't wait to saddle up with the president there's definitely a connection.
I think we have this sort of all of our country our love of sport.
I don't love for you American soldiers it's pretty -- -- personal.
It's truly personal army specialist Jacob Lerner who lost his left foot to a land mine in Afghanistan in September of 2008.
Feels the same way.
We'll speechless about it like industry out there -- really who -- Jean Lee.
-- -- And little -- Love the -- and.
Started and then we can.
From the get go the rules are clear no quarter asked no quarter given.
Not for the wounded vets.
Not for the 64 year old former president.
And certainly -- for the guy from the Fox News anchor.
Quick get there does present.
A little -- -- -- -- But President Bush will account.
He's like nonstop he puts the hammer on what -- from two questions he was.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- He must be pretty -- I guess they were.
The events exceeded expectations to run out front right behind me special operating losses that special operator is Chris self.
Who was injured in a fire fight in Iraq.
-- you have an elaborate and very -- -- I got an advantage on innocent wife and I got a forensics analysis will strengthen the ability to nominate your driver over our industry -- anyway he Jerry rice's smiles yeah.
-- -- -- President he's he's then you can hear you think Gerald.
I don't think anybody understands our sixty plus roaming can ride until they get out here.
But the twelve mile ride of day one.
It was a cakewalk compared to the thirty mile endurance test of date to.
Halfway through the day.
Former marine staff sergeant Andy Hatcher damaged a key piece of equipment I didn't go to women.
-- -- over the handlebars.
And I I broke my prosthetic so kind of finding a way and was able to make it back here -- Without making too much damage it's just it's it's nuts and bolts man like it'll it'll break just.
Like anyway I don't like the and it's funny they just think more resilient and life partner that's absolutely option.
-- bush before him at the Bethesda naval hospital.
Mall there the president awarded him his purple heart it was fantastic.
It was a pretty it was an emotional time.
-- -- -- -- I don't -- I guess who is.
-- knew it was it was one of the -- in my life also on the trip was Paul Bremer.
The former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq he was in charge of the country during the height of the deadly insurgency -- Guys who.
There would only put their lives in the Land of the Lost something that they're kind.
Tapestry that's a very confidence.
As the pack crosses the second day's finish line.
It's clear the former president and the bats are having the time of their lives I've gotten back.
But that doesn't mean it was easy the former president took his share of faults the -- -- -- luck he got up got back on a bike you brush himself off from opera.
Lots of others took their -- And loved it too little bomb around by keeping up falling -- on mountain -- -- on with the days riding done President Bush poses for a few more pictures.
I did -- guys for dinner that night bush in the vets share a meal and shoot the breeze.
Talked about bikes talked about riding talked about crashing.
We talked politics less money you know it was just they don't do it -- bodies begin in nicknamed big -- Public overhead cameras.
They -- good -- but that had a nickname big boy.
And the former president acted as master of Serbs.
-- -- -- -- I hear from one other speaker of the fellow Texan.
And a guy who's supporting our military.
Please welcome lance -- This was four weeks before.
-- the latest allegation that Armstrong had used performance enhancing drugs.
And here he spoke only of the -- and their contribution to the country.
You know people call me euros your all time -- was a bike racers -- -- -- disease.
I'm not here people who live -- I -- a lot of effort for our freedom.
-- in the United States and overseas whoever else serve our country.
-- -- -- It's an honor to -- here.
Thank you very much for.
For the wounded warriors a meal to remember.
Breaking bread with a former president.
I feel a special kinship.
To those who -- you.
In my time as commander and chief you may be ordered yes you -- the -- the guy made the decision you feel.
Responsible not really because through volunteers.
I didn't think that causes what was it.
Well it's so willingly as the ones here I decided to -- them today.
-- put myself in that situation one Carlos Hernandez is the army specialist whose helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade.
I made -- this season.
And I have nobody to blame enough for losing my leg up -- -- injuries that happened to me.
There are no you know I do.
No I have a responsibility.
To honor and support him for the rest of my life I will.
We were in a great adventure together for the sake of peace.
And I'll never forget their sacrifice.
Day three of the warriors prepare to face another twelve miles of it on for giving trends.
It's I don't know him.
Listed isn't enough -- -- at least bush and a handful of events began the last days ride.
With seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
And stayed with -- -- back for about five minutes after that Armstrong left them in the dust.
Yeah I started out hard today.
Bill was gotten in shape -- -- the and he was.
Need some help.
The president wasn't alone.
It was tough.
It wasn't you know leisurely cruise and in your state -- though it wasn't fit right in it cut into the back of my leg.
And after three days of hard -- arrive at stuff but army specialist -- wouldn't have it any other way it sounds -- -- race.
That's exactly I don't know I don't want and -- you know sit next to me and ride accident and -- -- So finally the road and but for these brave veterans and for countless other -- The road of their changed lives.
Stretches -- -- I don't want to be over it is good.
That is the writing wasn't a bomb on me over that time and Evans overnight if they go back and you go back -- reality it's definitely -- -- -- -- of -- Story of them goes on my grandchildren and mobile -- grandchildren all all of the officers there have been less well -- I'm sure somebody out there are countries in my life miserable why me.
And I hope they take a look at what is best and say hey that person can -- that I can overcome it.
This is the first -- former President Bush.
Held the warrior 100 K.
The George W bush presidential center organize the event to raise awareness of American troops injured in combat.
He told me he'd like to do it every year.
Thanks to singer songwriter Steve -- are for the use of his new single -- song for this piece.
You know every Memorial Day it's important to remember those who died for this country to the service and sacrifice of the fallen and for their families.
But every day there are tens of thousands of injured veterans recovering trying to move forward living their lives.
And yes sometimes mountain bike.
Thank you to those bets and to their families.
We can't say thank you enough.