Former chief official White House photographer Pete Souza describes Obama’s five meetings with Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, who was injured in Afghanistan. Following is a transcript of the video.
Pete Souza: My name is Pete Souza. I was the chief official White House photographer for President Obama and my new book “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” just came out.
The president would often visit Walter Reed Hospital where wounded soldiers were taken after being injured in Iraq or Afghanistan or really anywhere in the world.
In 2010, we walked into a room and met with Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, who was severely injured in Afghanistan. He had dozens of stitches across his side of his head and was not fully cognisant when we walked into the room.
There was a picture hanging on the wall that I had taken eight months earlier of President Obama meeting Cory Remsburg in Normandy and I had forgotten of that moment. And to see the contrast of this photograph that was hanging on his hospital room wall and the injured Cory in the bed was almost too much to bear. We didn’t know that he was going to recover.
A year, a year and a half later, we were in Phoenix for a speech and Cory met with the president backstage, was learning how to walk again, and was able to walk across this small room using his walker.
And not long thereafter that he was invited to be the guest of honour at the State of the Union speech and sat next to Michelle Obama in her box.
A year after that, we visited Cory again in Arizona. Some veterans had built him a house and we visited his house in suburban Phoenix.
And I think there was one other time towards the end of the administration, he came and visited President Obama in the Oval Office and walked through the door by himself to shake hands with the president.