For most of their two terms, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have quietly – out of the glaring media spotlight – provided care and comfort to the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and have lifted the spirits of those wounded in the service of our country. Read more about it below, see photos and a moving video.

Did you know that President Bush has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan? In all he does as President, this enormous personal effort has consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice.

Can you even image the job of writing a letter as Commander-in-Chief, to a grieving family of soldier lost in battle? The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, would have to be wrenching – balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin. It’s been said the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.

“I lean on the Almighty and Laura,” Mr. Bush said in the interview. “She has been very reassuring, very calming.”

Our President has also met privately with more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans, according to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. Many of those meetings were outside the presence of the news media at the White House or at private sessions during official travel stops.

The First Lady has said those private visits with families, many of which she also attended, took a heavy emotional toll, not just on the president, but on her as well. I think we can see that in President Bush can’t we?

And Vice President Cheney, who was Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, has had many private BBQ’s at the his home for wounded warriors and their families, teaching them fly fishing and learning more about them personally.

President Bush has always taken his role as ‘Commander in Chief’ very seriously and is loved by the military for it. If you have ever watched a Medal of Honor ceremony, like the one of Navy Seal Mike Monsoor after the jump, you know his depth of feeling for our servicemen and women. He takes every loss personally.

I think President Bush and Vice President Cheney are two of the finest leaders this country has had. Have they been perfect? Of course not. But did they restore the dignity of the office? Absolutely. They also kept us safe, which at it’s core, is the basis for our prosperity and livlihood. This is just one quiet example – in many – of the decency of them both. I, for one, miss them already.





Michael Monsoor Medal of Honor Ceremony Video