Michigan man shares special experience with George H.W. Bush

Navy veteran received letter signed by Bush

DETROIT – People from all over the world are reacting to the news of former President George H.W. Bush's passing, including people here in Metro Detroit. 

A local Navy veteran had the experience of a lifetime with the late president.

If you spend a day with Navy veteran Robert Calhoun, he will have plenty of stories to tell.  

One of his most cherished stories goes back to May of 1991, when he was working at a car dealership in Virginia. 

Calhoun had just sold a car to a professor.  

"He called me the next day and said, 'You know, in two weeks, President Bush is going to be here for the commencement, he is the guest speaker,'" said Calhoun.  

Calhoun had the opportunity of a lifetime to help provide the transportation for the late president. 

"Then I heard them say the eagle is going to land in 15 minutes, and I knew that was the president," he said.  

He remembers the moment like it was yesterday. 

"I said, 'Man, if my grandmother could see me now, I'm in a presidential motorcade.' I got a chance to touch the wing of the plane, the lapel pins and the presidential cuff links that were given to me," Calhoun said.  

He cherishes the cuff links to this day. 

"I wear them to church, to functions and then I lock them back up," he said.    

It is one of many reminders of that special day kept in his home. 

"This is the thank you letter from the White House in June 1991 that the White House sent to me that I'm very proud of," he said.  

The letter signed by Bush thanking Calhoun means more now than ever on the day of the president's passing.  

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