Bill and Georgia Thomas reported they were elated Monday when they met in the Oval Office with President George W. Bush to present him with a Purple Heart.
The couple was able to meet with President Bush for about 20 minutes to present him with one of three Purple Hearts that Bill Thomas received during his service in Vietnam.
Thomas said he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office.
“We feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds,” Thomas said.
The medal was awarded to Thomas on Dec. 18, 1965, following injuries he sustained while serving in heavy combat with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam.
Thomas said the Purple Heart he presented the president has special meaning to him because the injury he suffered to earn it occurred just after a friend, Richard Peterson, lost his life attempting to save him.