28 June 2006

CINC Jogs with Wounded Soldier

President Bush jogs with Army Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, 23, from Eugene, Ore., who lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Tuesday, June 27, 2006. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

From a May 6 interview on CNN:

GUPTA: You know, it's really remarkable because I think for the average person who's never met someone who's had a limb amputated. They didn't realize you could get around as well as you can. I mean, it was really remarkable to see you doing those exercises and everything. I mean, could you go running with the president today if he asked?

C. BAGGE: Absolutely. Yes, I could.

And yesterday he did just that. After changing into his jogging prosthetics in the Oval Office, SSG Christian Bagge headed out for a run with President Bush on the track that circles the White House's South Lawn.

The two met on New Year's day during Bush's visit to Brooke Army Medical Center, and that's when Bagge asked the President if he could run with him sometime. Bagge, of the Oregon National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry and a native of Eugene, was in a convoy hit by roadside bombs a year ago near Kirkuk in which 10 soldiers were injured.

Bush and Bagge paused briefly during their run 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."

"It's an amazing sight for me to be running with a guy who, last time I saw him, was in bed wondering whether or not — I was wondering whether or not he'd ever get out of bed."

I,too, love seeing the way these guys "come back". It's an impressive testimony to their character - and to the medical personnel that work with them.

Some of you may remember that the President has done this before.

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