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 Home > News & Policies > June 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2006

President Bush Goes on Run with Staff Sergeant Christian Bagge
The South Lawn

4:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I first met Christian when I went to Walter Reed -- or Brooke Army in San Antonio, Texas. And he said, "I want to run with you." He was in bed -- he had lost both legs. I looked at him, like, you know, there's an optimistic person. But I could tell in his eyes that he meant it. And after a lot of hard work and a lot of compassionate care, this fine man is here on the South Lawn running with the President. And he ran the President into the ground, I might add. (Laughter.)

President George W. Bush meets with U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christian Bagge, 23, of Eugene, Ore., in the Oval Office Tuesday, June 27, 2006. Mr. Bagge lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After their meeting, the two ran together on the South lawn. White House photo by Eric Draper But I'm proud of you. I'm proud of your strength, proud of your character. Thank you for your service.

It's an amazing sight for me to be running with a guy who, last time I saw him, was in bed wondering whether or not -- I was wondering whether or not he'd ever get out of bed. There was no doubt in his mind that he would.

Thank you for your service.

STAFF SERGEANT BAGGE: Your welcome, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Good man. God bless you.

STAFF SERGEANT BAGGE: It's a privilege.

THE PRESIDENT: We're not through running yet. Get out of the way. (Laughter.)

END 4:03 P.M. EDT

President George W. Bush runs with U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christian Bagge, 23, of Eugene, Ore., on the South Lawn Tuesday, June 27, 2006. President Bush met Sgt. Bagge at Brooke Army Medical Center Jan. 1, 2006, where he promised to run with Sgt. Bagge. Since then, Sgt. Bagge has reenlisted to active duty. White House photo by Eric Draper