LOCAL NEWS

Utahns featured in Former President George W. Bush’s book

May 27, 2018, 5:55 PM | Updated: May 28, 2018, 6:53 am

SALT LAKE CITY — There are stories of sacrifice, struggle, and triumph when you talk about service to your country.  One of those stories is told by Former President George W. Bush, “At age 30, Sgt. Josh Hansen left his comfortable life as a small business owner to serve his country in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.”

Coming home was tough, Hansen said, “I lost 4 of my men by suicide here at home.”

Leslie Zimmerman who also served in the Iraq War said, “We can fight back…. not as military but as civilians.”

Hansen and Zimmerman not only have the war in the common, they also both have their stories featured by former President George W. Bush.

Out of the blue, Iraq war vets Hasen and Zimmerman got an unexpected invitation.

Hansen said, “I received an email that said the president requests your presence at his birthday party, his 70th birthday party, I couldn’t believe it. Showed it to my wife and was like wow, how do you turn that down?”

That’s when they learned former President George W. Bush had included their stories in his book, “Portraits of Courage.”

“We we were all sitting there at the BBQ and he pulls out his I-pad and was showing everybody the pictures that he had painted and it was, I mean, a very surreal moment, where you think this former commander in chief, has taken the time
out to take my portrait,” said Zimmerman

The honor was hard to believe, Hansen said, “A lot of people paint presidents but it is pretty rare that president’s paint veterans.”

While releasing the “Portraits of Courage,” book last year President Bush told NBC news during an interview, “Someone I painted said paint the faces nobody knows. I decided that this would be a wonderful opportunity to honor
those who served.”

The Iraq war has claimed the lives of thousands of American soldiers and left many more suffering with wounds both physically and mentally.  The George W. Bush Center has programs that help veterans transition from military into civilian life. And proceeds from this book will be donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and its Military Service Initiative.

It was one of these programs, where Josh told of his struggles and the loss of his men.

Hansen remembered what the former president said, “You led them during war, let’s do it here at home.”

Hansen took those words to heart and created Continue Mission, a non-profit organization that helps veterans remain active.

“I knew it helped my recovery and for my depression and mental health issues, getting outside and exercising has been a tremendous help for me.,” said Hansen. It also gives them a sense of comradery.

Zimmerman who volunteers for the group said, “They’re considered your family because they would do anything for you and you would do anything for them, to protect them.”

It is that feeling of family that inspired the former president to create the book.

“I  want to share what I’ve learned and what I’ve seen, and to call attention to those programs that work,” said President Bush.

The former president painted 98 veterans .  Hansen said, he doesn’t know how he made it in, but Zimmerman jokes, “I like to think it’s because I’m cute,”

After meeting president Bush, Zimmerman said he told her he doesn’t miss being president but he misses saluting the soldiers.

“I think this is his way of saluting the soldiers and saying thank you for serving.,” said Zimmerman.

 

 

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Nichole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito, speaks alongside, from left, Tara Petito, Petito's stepmot...

Dakin Andone and Jean Casarez

Parents of Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie reach settlement in emotional distress lawsuit, attorney says

The families of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie have reached a settlement in a lawsuit, an attorney for the Laundries said, after Petito’s parents claimed the Laundries knew their son killed his fiancée during a cross-country road trip but intentionally withheld that information.

39 minutes ago

a woman puts an arm around a taller man...

Debbie Worthen

Family launches foundation in remembrance of loved one who drowned in Puerto Rico

The BK Outreach effort is named after Ben Kerbs, who died while swimming in Puerto Rico. His family is healing through service.

9 hours ago

A group of young Filipino girls are excited...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir arrives in Philippines to continue ‘Hope’ world tour

There was celebration, music and dancing as the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square arrived in the Philippines to kick of the second segment of its Hope world tour.

9 hours ago

The mug shots of Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt obtained by KSL on Feb. 21 2024. It's expected th...

Shelby Lofton

Long-term therapy expected for Ruby Franke, Jodi Hildebrandt’s young victims

After their mother, Ruby Franke, and previous counselor Jodi Hildebrandt were sentenced for aggravated child abuse, it's expected the Franke children will need long-term therapy to heal from the trauma they've endured.

11 hours ago

The Larry H. Miller Company and Miller family unveiled renderings for the Power District, a nearly ...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah Legislature unveils plan to help finance new MLB stadium

Utah's taxpayer funds are intertwined in a new bill proposed to fund a stadium that will help bring a Major League Baseball team to Utah. State leaders think the investment will pay off.

13 hours ago

Show in Smithfield...

Mike Anderson

‘The groundhog was wrong’: Heavy snow, rain mix hits Cache Valley Utah

Rain across much of the Wasatch Front brought a lot of that heavy, slushy snow to the Cache Valley Wednesday.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utahns featured in Former President George W. Bush’s book