The President and a soldier whose hand was amputated-Mostly Truth!

President Bush’s Greeting and Prayer for a Wounded Soldier Who Lost His Right Hand-Mostly Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

President George W. Bush is described as having held a wounded U.S. soldier’s stump, where he had lost his hand, and praying for him.  A story told by U.S. Sergeant Major Jack Tilley.  The story was related by Chaplain James Henderson of the Association of the U.S. Army, the Redstone Huntsville chapter.

The Truth:

The story is true although there are slightly conflicting details.
A spokesperson for the Sgt. Major Jack Tilley told that the eRumor is based on some real events, but is not entirely accurate.

He says that although both President Bush and Sgt. Major Tilley have visited wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, they have never done so together.

During one of his visits, Sgt. Major Tilley met a special forces soldier who lost his right hand in an accident involving a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

The soldier offered his limb to Tilley in greeting.
Tilley shook his bandaged arm, presented him with a coin, and said, “God bless you.”
A few days later, President Bush visited the hospital, greeted several soldiers and presented many with medals.

Mr. Bush also encountered the same soldier who had lost his right hand.
When the soldier offered his limb in greeting, the president cupped his bandaged arm in both hands, said “God bless you,” and kissed the soldier on the forehead, according to Sgt. Major Tilley’s spokesperson.

Chaplain James Henderson told that when Sgt. Major Jack Tilley told this story at a meeting, he and others came away with the impression that both Tilley and Bush had visited the soldier at the same time.  Sgt. Major Tilley later told Henderson that he and the president had not visited the soldier together.

Last updated 10/23/05