Presidents and Soldiers: When a commander-in-chief lives up to the title

Presidents and Soldiers: When a commander-in-chief lives up to the title

By Brett Gillin
No one claims that being the president of the United States of America is an easy job, but some parts of the job must be much tougher than others. Take, for example, the “Commander-in-Chief” part of the job. No matter what side of the political spectrum you associate with, no one can truthfully claim that the decision to send U.S. troops into harm’s way, not matter how noble the cause, is an undeniably tough decision for any president. When those presidents then head out to meet those troops, face to face…. Well sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some of the most powerful images you might not have seen.

 

 

 

While meeting the troops they send to battle is trying, having to look into the eyes of a soldier who was wounded in a battle under your command must be one of the toughest things a president has to do. Here, Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Marine Corps Sgt. Carlos Evans, who was injured in Afghanistan during his fourth deployment.

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Eventual Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg actually met President Obama on three separate occasions. The first time, as a healthy soldier re-enacting a parachute drop from D-Day. The subsequent times, however, Remsburg and Obama crossed paths after Remsburg was partially paralyzed in Afghanistan. Here, Obama greets Remsburg while he was at the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland.

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President Bush was known for his affinity for the troops, and nothing says “Thank you for your service” like a kiss on the forehead from your Commander In Chief.
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Army Spc. Rick Yarosh was severly wounded in Iraq in 2006. While attending physical therapy to recover from his wounds at the Center For The Intrepid at the Brooke Army Medical Center, he received a visit from President Bush. Bush warmly embraced Yarosh, who quickly became the face of our wounded warriors.

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President Bush thanks World War II Veterans Jose Ramos Chavez, left, and his younger brother Joe Diego Chavez during a breakfast at the White House.

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President Bush greets a veteran who is the embodiment of the “Soldier’s Spirit.” Despite an injury in battle that left him permanently disabled, this soldier refused to give up. Instead, he joined the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride to show exactly how much our wounded vets can still do. His 65 mile bike ride started with this meeting with President Bush.

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President Lyndon B. Johnson’s furrowed brow when he greets soldiers during a surprise visit to South Vietnam seems to symbolize the thoughts of a nation and the ruminations of a president fighting an unpopular war.

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In this iconic photo, General Dwight D. Eisenhower a.k.a. “Ike”, gives US paratroopers a pep talk just before they boarded planes heading to Normandy for the D-Day invasion.

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President Harry S. Truman was the first World War I veteran to become an American president, so his meeting with Pfc. Wilson H. Makabe, a Japanese American soldier is surely a display of mutual respect between two men who put their lives on the line in defense of their country.


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