Photo with OHP trooper captures spirit of George H.W. Bush - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Photo with OHP trooper captures spirit of George H.W. Bush

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Many photos have been shared of President George H.W. Bush since his death was announced late Friday night.

But one picture taken nearly 30 years ago and shared on social media caught our attention. It shows Oklahoma Highway Patrol First Lt. Ken Perry saluting Bush as he's driving a vintage patrol car during a visit to the state.

The striking image not only has a comical story behind it, but Perry's son, State Trooper Branson Perry, said it connects two men who deeply loved their country.

"They're definitely sharing some stories," he said. "It's always been hanging up in our house, and he loved... absolutely loved President Bush," Perry said about his deceased dad.

The photograph was snapped the moment that Ken Perry met Bush, then vice president, during a visit to Tulsa. It was an encounter that left a lasting impression.

"He told the story about President Bush seeing that 1937 Ford and I remember him saying that was [Bush's] first vehicle he ever drove as a child, and he had to get in it," Branson Perry recalled.

Bush not only got behind the wheel of the old car, but started to drive it across the airport tarmac.

"He was chuckling, because the Secret Service was trying to keep up with him as he was driving this '37 Ford around," Perry said. 

There's also a story behind Ken Perry's salute.

"The wind was blowing so much that he was actually hanging on to his hat," the younger Perry said. "But it really couldn't have been a better photo of him looking like he's saluting, and no doubt saluting in his heart."

Branson Perry explained why his father had such affection for the 41st president.

"Dad was a grassroots guy, raised us 'Right's right, wrong's wrong," he said. "That's the kind of leader he though President Bush was, his service to country."

The photograph of Ken Perry's salute to George H.W. Bush has now been shared thousands of times on the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's Facebook page.

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