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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:59 PM

14. Actually, that is not the same Chase Haag...

The Chase Haag in the iconic picture with President Obama is alive and the President actually talked about him in a speech this past August.

From The White House website:

That’s the lesson of a soldier I had the honor to meet the last time I was in Afghanistan, visiting some of our wounded warriors in the hospital at Bagram. Sergeant Chase Haag is 22 years old. This past spring he was with his team when their vehicle got hit by an IED the day that I flew in. So when I arrived at his hospital room, he and his buddies were all in pretty bad shape. And he was certainly in bad shape -- his leg was broken, his back was fractured. He was laying there on his bed. He was under a lot of medication, face was swollen, his eyes were shut.

And at first, my attitude was I didn’t want to disturb him because I thought he was sleeping. And the doctor said, no, I think he can understand what you’re saying even if he can’t acknowledge it, and I think he’d appreciate knowing that you’re by his side. So I leaned in and I told Chase how proud I was of him and how proud the country was of him, and how we’d be praying for his recovery.

And I was turning to leave and then something happened. There was a rustling under his blanket. And Chase never opened his eyes, couldn’t make a sound, but suddenly you saw the blanket lift and his arm came out. And he shook my hand -- a firm Army handshake. (Hooah!) And I don’t think there was a dry eye in that room.

And then a few months later I was visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed, and I walk around the corner and who’s there but Chase. He had endured multiple surgeries. He was persevering through physical therapy. But this time he was on his feet. He was walking again. And he had his dad next to him. And today he’s back where every soldier wants to be -- back with his unit. (Hooah!) (Applause.)

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