Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, wrote a poignant essay about billionaire philanthropist and former presidential candidate Ross Perot, which highlighted the late Perot’s love for America and her soldiers.
Perot passed away at the age of 89 on Tuesday after a battle with leukemia.
The Dallas Morning News published Perry’s essay on Friday.
What are the details?
In his essay, Perry spoke of Perot’s successes in both business and his “two independent White House bids.”
“His love of country, larger-than-life-personality and generosity are all part of his legacy that will live on,” Perry writes. “But there is another little-known part of the life of Ross Perot that should be told now that he is gone. He was a tireless, but private, supporter of our wounded veterans.”
Perry goes on to point out his own personal relationships and experiences with wounded warriors and U.S. veterans, with one specific example: U.S. Army Cpl. Alan Babin Jr.
“While serving in Iraq in 2003 as a medic in the 82nd Airborne, Alan was shot in the abdomen while tending to a fallen comrade,” Perry explains, highlighting Babin’s bravery.” While Alan survived his injury, he faced a long and difficult road to recovery, complicated by the onset of meningitis and a stroke-induced coma that left him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.”
Perry goes on to reveal that he personally met with Babin and his family on the one-year anniversary of the wounding.
“When I asked his mother, Rosie, what I could do to help, she said she was eager to get him out of the hospital and back home, but struggling with the prospect of transporting Alan to his many medical visits,” Perry writes, and said that he knew just the person to call: Perot.
Perry goes on to tell an incredibly moving story about what the former presidential candidate did next.
“The next morning, Ross personally called Rosie and made arrangements for his plane to pick up the Babins in Austin and fly them to Dallas where Alan could be seen by leading neurologists at Zale Lipshy University Hospital,” Perry adds, revealing that Perot himself met Babin personally, and went on to ensure that he and his family received the best of care while staying in Dallas.
After Babin was discharged, he was sent home on Perot’s private plane.
“When they arrived home, a fully customized luxury conversion van equipped with a wheelchair lift was waiting for them in their driveway,” he adds.
Perot took things even further, according to Perry.
“In 2005, when Alan needed to return to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Ross flew the Babins to Washington, D.C., and arranged for a private ambulance to pick him up on the tarmac and transport him to the hospital,” Perry continued.
Perry concludes, “While alive, Ross would have shunned any effort to grant him credit for his support of [Babin] and the untold others he quietly helped through unimaginably challenging times. But now that he is gone, everyone should know the quality of the man that our state, our nation and our wounded veterans have lost.”
“God bless Ross Perot,” he adds.