Lubbock Air Force veteran remembers President George H.W. Bush - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock Air Force veteran remembers President George H.W. Bush

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While those in Washington D.C. pay their respects to President George H.W. Bush, many in our backyard remember him, from a distance. 

John Sigle is an Air Force veteran who served under President Bush during the Gulf War. The 41st President also gave the commencement speech to Texas Tech's Class of 1999.

"Character is important, at the end of your life, end of your days on earth. Character is what remains," President Bush said in front of the graduating class. 

"It truly broke my heart. None of us are going to live forever, but he was an honorable man and a good man," Sigle said. "And I really and thoroughly enjoyed serving under him as my Commander in Chief."

Sigle served in the Air Force for 22 years. Four of those were during H.W. Bush presidency.

"I took the oath of enlistment under his guard willingly and very respectfully because among those things that you pledge to is you'll protect the President of the United States and it was an easy commitment and promise for me to make because I really highly respected him," he added.

"Being what I used to call one of a thousand points of light," Bush said at the commencement speech. "I said it as President, and I still believe there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others."

Sigle served during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Gulf War only lasted about 100 hours from when it started. President Bush said it was to reduce the number of U.S. casualties.

"He was a military man himself and I think he knew there's a sacrifice there's a price to be paid both for those who are serving but also their families," Sigle said. "And I think he recognized that and I think every casualty affected him."

As a military man who served his country in war and in the office, President Bush told the Texas Tech Class of 1999 to serve others and lead by example.

"And because the Cold War ended without a shot being fired, I'm convinced that there's every reason to be optimistic about the world of which you are graduating," the President stated.

"I value that he was careful in the decisions that he made and that he worked hard to keep us out of harms way," Sigle added.

"You don't have to be a President to be a leader. You don't have to be a first lady to touch the life of someone else. But you do have to care. And you have to have dreams and if you add a lot of hard work and then never give in, there's no telling how far you'll go. The sky is the limit," President Bush said.

Sigle called the late President a Texan in every sense of the word.

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