Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bush goes Jogging with Iraqi Amputee (Not the First Time)

Bush jogs with wounded soldier, by Jenniver Loven (Associated Press) June 27, 2006:

WASHINGTON - President Bush took a jog Tuesday with a soldier who lost part of both legs in Iraq, following through on a bedside promise even the president had doubts about at the time.

Despite a slight drizzle, Bush and Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge took a slow jog around a spongy track that circles the White House's South Lawn. About halfway through their approximately half-mile run, Bush and Bagge paused briefly for reporters.

"He ran the president into the ground, I might add," Bush said, as the two gripped hands in an emotional, lengthy shake. "But I'm proud of you. I'm proud of your strength, proud of your character."

What is interesting is that this is not the first time our President has heeded such an offer. In April 2004, he followed up on a similar promise to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Michael McNaughton, who lost a leg in Afghanistan:
In the months since his wounding, Sgt. McNaughton has undergone at least 11 separate operations as a result of his injuries and has been fitted with a thin, robotic prosthetic shaft to replace his right leg. While recuperating at Walter Reed, Sgt. McNaughton was honored to receive a visit from President Bush. One of the subjects of common interest they discussed was running, and the President extended an invitation to Sgt. McNaughton to come running with him once he was up and about.

The President's invitation posed something of a dilemma for Sgt. McNaughton: "He said give him a call and we'll go running. How are you supposed to just call the president?" Fortunately, Sgt. McNaughton's doctor at Walter Reed was also a doctor for the President, and the two men were able to keep in touch through her.

In April 2004, Sgt. McNaughton and his family made the trip to Washington, and — true to his word — the President went for a run with him.

("Born to Run" Snopes.com).