Texoma veteran offers tribute to President Bush - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Texoma veteran offers tribute to President Bush

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SHERMAN, Texas -- U.S. Army veteran Monique Cooksey recalls the time she was deployed overseas for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait under the leadership of the late President George Herbert Walker Bush.

"He became a part of who I am through the fact that I was deployed, and through the fact that I returned home safely," she said. "When I learned that we were being deployed for Desert Shield and then Desert Storm, the comfort I had in knowing he was a combat veteran and a Christian really brought peace to the deployment."

On the eve of the memorial service for President Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, Cooksey celebrated his life by sharing the legacy of a leader.

"I truly believe that he wasn't going to leave us there any longer than we needed to be," she said. "He proved that when he brought us home as quickly as he did."

That legacy would be remembered years later on a recruitment trip, when the Texoma veteran come face-to-face with our 41st president.

"As we were seated on at our table -- the table right next to us -- there sat George H.W. Bush, and it was an overwhelming sense of, 'I just wanted to rush over to his table, ask to shake his hand,'" Cooksey said. "Honestly, I wanted to give him a huge hug and thank him for his service during his period in time as our commander-in-chief, because it really meant that much to me."

Cooksey said she never had the opportunity to personally thank the president, but the memory of the commander-in-chief's leadership and his respect for veterans will always be remembered.

"We can always just strive to honor his memory by being the best people that we can as veterans in our community," she said.

The nation will honor the life of President Bush on Wednesday with a service at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. You can watch coverage starting at 8 a.m. on KTEN.

Funeral services will follow Thursday in Houston, then Bush will be buried next to his wife and daughter at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.

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