You can tell a lot about a person’s character by how others speak about them when they’re gone.
When it comes to late President George H. W. Bush, it’s hard to dispute his integrity and character — and a heartfelt post from men who knew him well just backed it up.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Secret Service posted a moving tribute to the deceased president. It showed a side of Bush that many may not have seen; a man who joined in personal camaraderie with the people protecting him and their families.
Everyone’s #TuesdayThoughts are on President Bush & we wanted to share a memory. In ’13, Timberwolf learned that the 2-year-old son of an agent on his detail was diagnosed with leukemia & the detail was going to shave their heads. You can see what happened, in classic 41 manner. pic.twitter.com/3Y0vnjNruJ
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) December 4, 2018
“In ’13, Timberwolf learned that the 2-year-old son of an agent on his detail was diagnosed with leukemia & the detail was going to shave their heads,” the agency wrote on its official Twitter account, using the code name assigned to Bush.
Bush didn’t need to join in with the men whose job was to safeguard him. He certainly wasn’t expected to. A different VIP could have easily mistreated their security detail like unimportant hired help.
But not George Bush.
“You can see what happened, in classic 41 manner,” the Secret Service posted.
Photos showed Bush joining dozens of the men in his protective detail with shaved heads, and personally spending time with the agent’s young son who was battling cancer.
It was a classy gesture by any standard, but it almost certainly had even deeper meaning for Bush.
While his sons George and Jeb went on to be well-known politicians, many Americans were unaware that the elder Bush had a young daughter who died in the 1950s.
Robin — born Pauline Robinson Bush in 1949 — was the couple’s second child after George W. Bush.
Her cause of death? The same frightening disease the Secret Service agent’s son is battling.
“She died in 1953 of leukemia, just months after a ‘shockingly abrupt’ diagnosis at a time when the disease was still poorly understood,” WTRK-TV reported. “Robin was hospitalized for treatment for several months … but passed away surrounded by family in October [1953.]” She was only 3 years old at the time of her death.
Even many decades later, the death of Bush’s young daughter haunted the former president.
“I was very close to her,” he told ABC News back in 1999. “Normally I push it away, push it back,” he said about the painful memories.
It couldn’t have been easy for the elderly Bush to face those thoughts again while shaving his head for another young leukemia patient.
His demonstration of solidarity with the son of the Secret Service officer gave us a glimpse at his true character, and it clearly made an impact on those who were close to the president during his last days.
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