Sometimes, it’s important to put politics aside and focus on the humanity of the people who hold public office.
One of the most vilified presidents in modern history was George W. Bush. However, in his post-presidency, a more humanitarian side of Bush has been revealed. Even his fiercest critics in the media have come around.
On Monday, one of America’s most recognizable veterans of the War on Terror posted to Facebook never-before-seen photos of him meeting Bush. Israel Del Toro serving in the Army in Afghanistan when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. The bomb tore through his vehicle, causing severe life-threatening injuries to Toro and killing some of his brothers in arms.
Toro faced an incredibly long road to recovery, but recover he did. Toro has gone on to become the face of many veteran campaigns and an active participant in the Invictus Games, a sporting event put on for wounded servicemembers around the globe.
In a viral Facebook post Monday, Toro shared some never-before-seen-photos of his military service, including his bombed-out vehicle, images of himself in hospital and photos of a Victorious recovery.
Toro also shared a graphic image of George W. Bush visiting him in the hospital soon after the bombing. Horrible burns and open wounds can be seen all over Toro’s body and face. Bush himself is wearing a hospital gown and mask, but stands undeterred.
The images contrast with photos of Bush meeting Toro years later at various conferences and sporting events. The mood is much different for both men who have formed a strong bond.
The message Toro added with the series of photos Is a powerful one:
Just realized about 30 mins ago that today is the day my life changed forever…today 12 year’s ago myself and my team got ambushed by an IED in Afghanistan..I went from a 200 lbs hard charging fighting TACP to a 115 lbs wounded patent to now back to a more determined hard charging, NFQ Warrior, world breaking Paralympian, sky-diving Wings of Blue – USAF Parachute Team member, and most importantly a father to my son!!
So yes today is the day my life changed, but I would change it for anything!!