June 28, 2006

SSG Christian Bagge: Portrait of determination

Bush jogs with wounded soldier

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."

The president met the soldier on a New Year's Day visit to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where Bagge had been recuperating from his injuries for months. Bagge, now 23 and a native of Eugene, Ore., was in a convoy hit by roadside bombs a year ago in the remote Iraq desert south of Kirkuk.

Bagge's left leg was amputated just above the ankle, and his right leg ends just above the knee.

This is not merely another accurate depiction of the President's character. More importantly, it is the character and perserverance of SSG Bagge that should be emphasized.

I believe Matt (Blackfive) said it best in his post about SFC Mike McNaughton, another wounded soldier President Bush jogged with a few years ago:

By the way, I am not impressed with the President keeping his promise. It's what a Soldier would expect of his Commander-In-Chief. It is great that they went for a run together. As Phil points out, it's not everyday that you can say that you had a jog with the President.

What's really impressive is that SSG McNaughton is able to run at all.


Posted by Kyer at June 28, 2006 01:06 PM | TrackBack