George W. Bush paints 'Portraits of Courage'

Former president goes on 'Hannity' with a military family to discuss 'Portraits of Courage'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST:  And welcome to "Hannity."  And we are broadcasting from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  It's in Dallas, Texas.

Tonight, for the full hour, our 43rd president will join us, along with the brave members of our military who are featured in his brand-new book.  It's called "Portraits of Courage: A Commander-in-Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors."

And joining us now, the 43rd president of the United States.  Mr. President, sir--


HANNITY:  -- good to see you.

BUSH:  Good to be back with you.

HANNITY:  Good to have you.  This -- I just now have gone through this part of your museum.  I am stunned, shocked.  I don't even know how to even describe it.  You've only been painting five years, less than five.

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  Tell us how you picked it up.

BUSH:  Well, I was a little antsy.  I mean, when you're the president, your dance card is full.


BUSH:  And then, all of a sudden, you're not the president.  And so I spent-- Laura and I spent a lot of the time here at the Bush Center putting programs in place that'll make a difference in people's lives.  I wrote two books.  I'm staying fit.  I'm -- mountain biking and elliptical.  And you know, I play a fair amount of golf.  But it wasn't enough.

And so I read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as a Pastime," and my attitude basically was, that old boy can paint, I can paint.

HANNITY:  You love animals, so you started painting pets.

BUSH:  Pets.

HANNITY:  You did Jasper.  You did Dana's (ph) pet?

BUSH:  I did.


BUSH:  And I did Bob the cat in our house.

HANNITY:  Right.

BUSH:  I was a pet portrait painter, which is kind of hard to say, but--



BUSH:  So I painted pets.  And the good thing about painting pets is they really don't react when they see their painting.

HANNITY:  So in other words, they can't say it's good or bad?

BUSH:  Yes, but the owner can.  But no, I did that, and then I started getting into landscapes.  And my first instructor at SMU came and said, you know, you ought to paint the leaders with whom you've served.  And I did. And we had an exhibition here--

HANNITY:  Putin.

BUSH:  Yes, Putin and Blair and Dalai Lama and Angela Merkel.  Now, you know, they were OK paintings, but the most important part of it was, was that I had gotten to know them so well during the presidency, I felt comfortable painting them.

And we had a personal diplomacy exhibit here, which I think is really important in life, and I know it's important for a president to get to know the leaders from other countries.

And I hire a -- so I got two new instructors, and one of them is a young guy who paints really fine portraits.  And he said, you know, You ought to paint people nobody knows.  And it just dawned on me, like, boom, warriors that I'd gotten to know.

And so I did.  I painted all these warriors.  I know every one of them.  I know their stories.  I had ridden mountain bikes with them.  I play golf with them.  And I admire them greatly.

HANNITY:  So in the course of a year, I think there's 60-some-odd warrior paintings here.

BUSH:  Well, there's 60-something individuals, and on the montage, there's another 30-something.  So it's about 98 warriors.

HANNITY:  In a year?

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  That's a lot of painting.  So how long would it take you--

BUSH:  I painted a lot.

HANNITY:  --  to paint one person?

BUSH:  Well--

HANNITY:  Because I also saw the pictures of them.  I know in the book, you call yourself a novice.  This is not the work of a novice, really.

BUSH:  Well, I think it is, but thank you.  It's a--


BUSH:  That's flattering.  I -- you know, it just depends, until you finish.  And you know, you really -- that's one of the interesting questions for any artist is when are you through?

And I would go upstairs and be painting, you know, Milo's (ph), and look at Faulkenberry's painting and said, I think I'd better paint on Faulkenberry some more, and then go back to Milo.

And so it's a -- it was a process.  And even when I look at them now, I kind of wish I had my paint and touch up a few things.  But it never really ends.

HANNITY:  It never ends.  You're never satisfied, perhaps.

I've known you a lot of years.  9/11 happens nine months into your presidency.  You were a wartime president.  We were on a war footing the entire time you were there.

BUSH:  Right.

HANNITY:  And I look back at the last two major conflicts in America.  I look at Vietnam.  We lost 58,000 people.  We didn't finish the job.  We left.  I look at Iraq and Afghanistan and here all -- many of these people that you're drawing, they won Mosul, Ramadi, Tikrit--

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  --  Fallujah, Baghdad only to -- like Vietnam, or similar in my mind to Vietnam -- because I supported it.  I thought it was the right decision.  I still believe it was.  But it's not the right decision if Washington politicizes it--

BUSH:  Right.

HANNITY:  --  and then gives back that which they won.  Does that frustrate you?  Because that frustrates me.

BUSH:  Yes.  You know, yes, it frustrated me.  And it -- I think what people have got to realize is this bunch of thugs can be defeated because we did so with the surge.  And by the way, the president's new national security adviser was a part of that philosophy of how to win the hearts and minds of local populations, which is necessary for victory.  And we can win again.

And so you've heard both presidents after my time say we're going to degrade and defeat ISIS.  And I say, Go get them, because they can be degraded and defeated.  And it's very important, in my mind, that we do so so that people know they can rely upon us, and the people -- not only governments but people on the ground, people who want to be free.

And you ask some of these troops, you know, were you able to see human deprivation and improvement?  And they say yes.  I mean, one of the -- a lot of them say to me, you know, I love the idea that girls being able to go to school for the first time in Afghanistan or young kids in Iraq being no longer subjected to the thuggery of these ideological, you know, thugs.

HANNITY:  You warned that if we pulled out--

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  -- precipitously and too early -- I've played this on my shows many times.

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  And unfortunately, you were 100 percent accurate.

BUSH:  Yes.  I'm not surprised.


BUSH:  Because, you know, we're it in terms of defeating ISIS or al Qaeda or whatever you want to call them.  I mean, these are people that murder the innocent to advance their point of view, and it requires U.S. leadership to defeat them.  And this exhibit honors those who heard the call and volunteered--


BUSH:  -- and were willing to be -- you know, willing to risk their lives to not only defend ourselves but to advance liberty.

HANNITY:  Two things about you that people might not know, which I think was the underpinnings of your passion for our military.  You used to always-- often would sneak over to Bethesda, sneak over to Walter Reed.

BUSH:  Right.

HANNITY:  Never wanted any cameras, nor did you want any -- anybody to know.

BUSH:  Correct.

HANNITY:  You did that a lot.

BUSH:  I did.

HANNITY:  And a second thing is I was on the campaign trail with you in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2004, and it was at a big stadium--

BUSH:  Yes, I remember that.

HANNITY:  -- where the Jaguars play.  You flew Air Force One right over as you were flying in.

BUSH:  I was a little bit of a showoff.


HANNITY:  A little bit.  Yes!  But when you got there, you got out of your car, you went in a private room.  Todd Beamer's father was in there.  Other Gold Star families were in there.  And I remember because I saw it -- I don't know if anyone else saw it.  You came out of the room, and it was obvious you had been crying.

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  Happened a lot.

BUSH:  Yes.  Yes.  I mean, I'm kind of a crier.  And when a mom hugs me, and you know, talks about her son, it -- you know, it affected me.


BUSH:  On the other hand, I -- and this is hard for many people to understand, but when you go to Walter Reed and a soldier looks at you who's lost his legs and says, I'd do it again, or you ride mountain bikes with these troops that -- some of whom lost a leg, who went back into combat or a mother whose son lost her life and said, I just want you to know, my son died doing what he wanted to do, it lifts your spirit.  It's a--

HANNITY:  Amazing people.

BUSH:  Amazing.  It is amazing, yes.

HANNITY:  Amazing people.

BUSH:  And hopefully, my art is able to capture how amazing these people are.

HANNITY:  Yes.  But it was that passion.  It's not easy being a wartime president.  You have to make tough decisions.

BUSH:  Yes, you do.  Sure.

HANNITY:  You know, and--

BUSH:  The toughest being to put somebody in harm's way.

HANNITY:  Yes.  Let me ask you about the art process and how -- so all of a sudden, you started painting these.

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  You started with apple and the watermelon and a cube.

BUSH:  Yes.

HANNITY:  Then you went to the pets.

BUSH:  Bob the cat.

HANNITY:  Then landscapes.

BUSH:  Right.

HANNITY:  And you know, and you evolved and evolved and evolved.  It's less than five years and we can see all throughout this room -- and we'll be showing these throughout the program tonight -- this is a lot of -- this is pretty sophisticated work.

How many hours do you work in a day in the studio?

BUSH:  Well, some days more than others.  You know, when I'm not working here at the Bush Center promoting what we're doing here, including the vets, you know, I'd be home maybe three or four hours and--

HANNITY:  In your man cave?

BUSH:  In my man cave, yes.


HANNITY:  I saw that Laura said that.

BUSH:  Yes.  And it's a -- I would paint a lot.  And even when I wasn't painting, I was living with these paintings because I'd go up there, and you know, hang out with Bob the cat and look at the paintings and think about the individuals involved.  See, I studied every one of their stories ahead of time.

HANNITY:  But they're all in here?

BUSH:  Yes, they are.

HANNITY:  You give a story with each person that you paint.

BUSH:  Paint.  Exactly.

HANNITY:  Portrait.  Were you as angry as a lot of Americans were when you heard about all the corruption, institutionalized corruption, at the VA? They literally had two sets of lists and--

BUSH:  I think that was isolated to a few centers.  But yes, of course I was.  You know, I've known the VA -- the last VA director.  And I know the new guy.  And they are committed, as best they can, to excellence.

And the truth of the matter is, what we need is public and private groups helping these vets.  Our focus is -- look, I understand waiting lines and the vets being discouraged.  It was the same when I was the president. There was a lot of focus on that, and there should be.  But you know, rather than being angry with the VA, we're trying to help them--

HANNITY:  Fix it.

BUSH:  -- fix it and do the best they can.


BUSH:  You know, one of the interesting things that I was told and not -- maybe it's still the same thing -- same way now, but a couple of years ago, the pipeline became full for PTS and TBI--

HANNITY:  But you don't say PTSD?

BUSH:  No, we dropped the D.  It's an injury, not a disorder.  I mean, if you want some soldier to talk about their condition, you don't want them to say, I'm not going to -- you know, if you talk about it, you'll be labeled somebody with a disorder.  And it's an injury that can be -- you know, where we can help people.

HANNITY:  You can heal.

BUSH:  Not totally, of course.  But you know -- but enough to be a productive citizen.

HANNITY:  It's estimated about 250,000 soldiers impacted by PTS.

BUSH:  Right.  And many of whom don't seek help.  And so one of the great things about this show is I'm confident, if they were wise, they'd be watching your show.

HANNITY:  Of course.


BUSH:  And so my message is, it's courageous to talk about PTS.  It's -- you know, you're not less of a man or a woman.


BUSH:  Talk about it.  And go to our Web site, Bushcenter.org, and it -- we will direct you toward groups of your fellow vets who can help you.

HANNITY:  We've got to take a break.

Coming up, we're just getting things started.  President Bush -- he'll be with us for the entire hour.

And up next, we'll meet wounded American war hero Sergeant 1st Class John Faulkenberry and his family.  Now, the story is featured in the president's brand-new book, "Portraits of Courage."

That and more as "Hannity" continues from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  We're in Dallas, Texas.




BUSH:  John Faulkenberry was born and raised in my home town of Midland, Texas.  He signed up to join the Army while still enrolled in high school. Even at that young age, John says, I was 100 percent sure that's what I wanted to do.  John served three deployments, two to Iraq and a third to Afghanistan in 2007.

That July in the Korngal (ph) valley, John's unit came under fire from both sides of a river.  They took heavy casualties in the ambush.  John was targeted while trying to recover the body of his company commander.  "I was shot by a PKM machine gun multiple times in the right upper thigh," he recounts, "basically cutting my leg in half."

For the next three years, John fought to keep his leg.  Eventually, with support from his wife, Sarah, and doctors, he made the excruciating decision to amputate.  Looking back on it, John considers it the best decision of his life.  It freed him to begin began his recovery in full and start running, climbing, and playing golf again.

JOHN FAULKENBERRY, MILITARY VETERAN:  First time I saw the picture the president painted was -- was just -- I was shocked to have the full action, the full body painting, and very much honored.  I liked the idea that he captured my personality and my walk and everything, got a little smirk on the lip, and I like that.  You know, it's -- I think he did a really fantastic job.


HANNITY:  And welcome back to "Hannity," and we are coming to you tonight from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  We're in Dallas, Texas.

Joining us now is one of the veterans that are featured in President Bush's brand-new book, "Portraits of Courage: A Commander-in-Chief's Tribute to American Warriors."

Purple Heart recipient retired U.S. Army sergeant 1st class John Faulkenberry.  And also with us, John's wife, Sarah Faulkenberry, and two beautiful children, Hayley (ph) and Jake.

Hey, guys.  How are you?  Good to see you both.

SARAH FAULKENBERRY, JOHN'S WIFE:  Thank you for having us.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  Thank you.

HANNITY:  You were married when you had your injuries.  Explain -- let's talk about what happened to you.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  Well, I was -- I was deployed on my third deployment in northeastern Afghanistan.  And it was pretty -- it was in `07, pretty good time in the war, pretty hot.  And we -- our unit got ambushed and I received a few gunshot wounds in the right upper thigh.

HANNITY:  And the injuries were pretty severe.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  They were pretty severe.


J. FAULKENBERRY:  They were -- I mean, I looked down at my leg, and it was pretty much cut in half.  And I thought that it was going to be pretty bad. And it did get pretty bad, but we made it through.  We were completely surrounded, and we had to fight our way out.  So it wasn't like I could just get to -- just quit and go home.

HANNITY:  Right.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  So I had another -- a friend come over and help patch me up (INAUDIBLE) lacerated (ph) femoral artery, missing femur, quad, hamstring--


J. FAULKENBERRY:  -- severed sciatic nerve.

HANNITY:  Yes.  And it ended up in an amputation.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  It ended up in an amputation, yes, sir.

HANNITY:  How -- you know, I guess we all try to put ourselves in other people's shoes, but it's not possible.  Now -- you've got to now go through a whole process, where you come to grips with that severe injury, and now you're building this new life for yourself, which, by the way, I think anyone listening would be really proud to hear.

And Sarah, your -- your loving husband's away, and you get a phone call at some point.


HANNITY:  And did you know how bad it was from the beginning?

S. FAULKENBERRY:  Like he kind of said, it was going in to where he was going, being deployed to, we knew it was a rough area.  And I was actually-- we were stationed in Germany, and I was back in Texas visiting family.  
And I had missed the original phone call.  And as soon as I looked down and saw what the number was, I knew at that point and--

HANNITY:  You knew before you--

S. FAULKENBERRY:  I knew.  And so--

HANNITY:  Did they take you to Germany after--

J. FAULKENBERRY:  I went to Germany for a couple days to get stabilized, and then I went straight to Walter Reed.

HANNITY:  Right.  And how long was your recovery?  How long was that process?

J. FAULKENBERRY:  I spent 11 months at Walter Reed.  Spent two-and-a-half years trying to salvage the limb, and then ultimately ended up deciding to amputate below the knee.

HANNITY:  I actually followed the case of somebody that had a similar injury.  And then after 11 months and it doesn't work out, that's tough.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  It was a hard decision.  We did our research.  And you know, people like Kent Saul (ph) -- he had a very similar injury, and he was a mentor to me in the hospital and then after.  And he amputated before I did, and I went and talked to him and--

BUSH:  So what's important -- not to do the question for you, but--

HANNITY:  Take over.  That's fine.


BUSH:  I'm going to.

HANNITY:  You're the president.

BUSH:  Yes.  So there are two aspects to John's recovery that is very impressive.  One is the physical (INAUDIBLE) out playing golf.  The other is, you know, the mental.  And one reason why I wanted to talk about John in my book is because he realized he was self-medicating.

HANNITY:  You were.


BUSH:  And quit.

HANNITY:  Drinking?



BUSH:  And so we both share the same thing.  We both quit.  And--

HANNITY:  I haven't quit yet, but--


BUSH:  Maybe that's why you've gained a little weight.

HANNITY:  Oh, geez!  I come here to get beaten up.  Thanks a lot!


HANNITY:  But yours is a story of great success.  I mean, it really is amazing.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  It takes time.

HANNITY:  When the president drew this painting and you saw it, what was that like?

J. FAULKENBERRY:  Oh, man!  I mean, the president of the United States painted a picture of you, you know?  It's--



BUSH:  He was in shock!  That guy can paint?


J. FAULKENBERRY:  But getting to -- to be -- because it's now a history book.

BUSH:  Yes.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  And so now I get to be in history.

HANNITY:  And you like that part of it.  Are you happy with the painting?


HANNITY:  All right, if you could an art critic -- sorry, Mr. President --1 to 10, 10 being the best.


J. FAULKENBERRY:  I would definitely give him a 10.


BUSH:  Well, first of all, his is an action shot.

HANNITY:  Yes.  I just saw it.

BUSH:  Yes.  And so, you know, mama (ph) may have a different view if it were up close.  But -- and the reason I put John and Bobby Dove (ph) there is because it's very important for citizenry to know, A, these people don't feel sorry for themselves, and B, they can go out and play golf.  And he's a good golfer.

HANNITY:  Yes.  Are you -- are you proud of your dad?


HANNITY:  Yes.  Are you proud of your dad?  And you have a lot of fun with your dad?  Yes?  What do you like to play the most with your dad?


HANNITY:  Soccer.  OK.  Who's better at soccer, you or your dad?


HANNITY:  Daddy?  Who's better?


HANNITY:  But you're a better dancer, right?


HANNITY:  Well, it's an honor to meet you.  And it's -- you -- you guys are friends.  You -- you're all -- it's like how you walk in the room.


BUSH:  We were all raised in the Midland, Texas.


J. FAULKENBERRY:  We've gone through some similar things at different levels, obviously, but--

BUSH:  Yes.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  -- similar things.  You know, the part of the recovery in that life-changing moment and the years to come after that, in history it ends up being the easy part.  That actual transition afterwards is where it becomes complicated for most..

HANNITY:  The people that I have found are the deepest, the most introspective, the most appreciative are people that have been through really difficult challenges -- cancer, something like you went through -- because they have a greater appreciation, it seems, than the rest of us that take a lot of things for granted.

So we're really proud for you.  It's an honor to meet you.  And you have the two cutest kids in the world.  And nice to meet you, too, Sarah.  Thank you all.

J. FAULKENBERRY:  Thank you.

HANNITY:  We'll take a break.  We'll come back.

Now, coming up, we'll share the story of Purple Heart recipient and American war hero, retired United States Army staff sergeant Spencer Milo (ph).  He's also featured in President George W. Bush's new book, "Portraits of Courage."

That and more as "Hannity" continues from the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.



BUSH:  Spencer Milo joined the military in 2006 as an airborne infantryman. In 2008, he sustained injuries in Iraq that led to the discovery of a tumor in his brain.  The prognosis was not good.  He was given six months to live.

Fortunately, that diagnosis was wrong.  The tumor was removed, giving Spencer a new lease on life.  He chose to use it to continue serving in the United States Army.  Spencer embarked on his second combat deployment, this time to Afghanistan.  In January 2011, he was injured again and in a horrifying way.  A child suicide bomber detonated eight feet from Spencer.

The experts at NICO (ph) helped Spencer rehabilitate with the therapies that worked best for him.  Mountain biking was effective.  Getting off the prescriptions helped a lot, and the family was at the top of the list.

"When I found out that my wife was pregnant with my daughter, I remember an emotion I had overseas.  In order to take care of others, you have to be able to take care of yourself.  It gave me a new and reinvigorated motivator to get better and allow myself to heal.

SPENCER MILO:  It's pretty humbling to even have a remote thought that someone like that, a man you're going to choose to follow and that you -- personally, I idolize (INAUDIBLE) going to take the time out of their busy life to paint a portrait of myself.  So it was pretty humbling.


HANNITY:  And Welcome back to "Hannity," and we're in Dallas, Texas, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  And President Bush is still with us.  
Joining us now is another American hero.  He is featured in President Bush's book, "Portraits of Courage, A Commander-in-Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," Purple Heart recipient, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Spencer Milo.  He calls you Milo?  

STAFF SERGEANT SPENCER MILO, (RET) UNITED STATES ARMY:  He can call me whatever he wants.  


HANNITY:  He can call you whatever he wants.  

You had a pretty severe brain trauma.  Tell us what happened.  

MILO:  Well, I had two separate traumatic brain injuries.  My first in Iraq and then my second, which was probably more prevalent, moving forward in Afghanistan.  There was a young teenage boy right on the Afghanistan- Pakistan border, about 10 feet from me, he detonated himself and gave my entire platoon quite a memory.  

HANNITY:  How far away, eight feet?  

MILO:  About eight to ten feet probably, yes.  

HANNITY:  Wow.  How are you doing now?  

MILO:  I'm doing a lot better, to be honest with you.  Long road, a lot of hard work, but I would say that I'm definitely on the right path and I'm grateful for it.  

HANNITY:  You see that the president of the United States drew a portrait of you.  What was that like?  

MILO:  Well, he made me look much better, and I appreciate that, sir.  

BUSH:  I thought you said I took some liberties with you?

MILO:  Yes, I like it.  I appreciated them.  It's incredibly humbling to think someone I chose to follow and have the utmost respect and would continue to follow anywhere would take the time out of his life to do something like that for me.  It's humbling, it's surreal, and it's a true honor.  

HANNITY:  How long did it take for you to get to the point where you are now, where you're now helping a lot of other vets?  How long was that process of healing?  

MILO:  Well, I really feel like it get started probably back in 2009 after Iraq.  And it has been an ongoing adventure ever since, and it's going to continue for the rest of my life.  

BUSH:  And one way to look at it -- sorry to butt in, but one way to look at it is by helping other vets he's still healing.  There is a healing process oftentimes, and this is what you will find in this book.  The healing process is accelerated when somebody helps somebody else.  And that's what Spencer is doing, helping people find work.  

HANNITY:  You are helping vets find work?  

BUSH:  Yes, that's what we're doing at the Bush Center as well.  You can get on BushCenter.org, and we have a roadmap, a veterans' employment roadmap.  

HANNITY:  You said to me there is a divide with the public sector, and you actually said well, maybe sniper on your resume --- a company is not looking for a sniper, but aren't you looking for people that are disciplined, hard-working, willing to serve, go above and beyond?  

BUSH:  Ask Milo, he is the one helping people find work.  There is a language differential, and we are trying to bridge that gap so the employer understands the vet and the vet understands the employer.  That's what they're doing.

HANNITY:  Explain how that is working out.  

MILO:  I work for Hire Heroes USA.  And what we focus on is transforming military service into civilian success.  And a term that we kind of toss around I guess in the industry is civilianizing that lingo, that jargon. And like the president said, if you want to go work and you want to be a general manager at, let's say, an auto sales place, you're not going in and say I was a sniper.  They are going to say, well, that's great.  How are you going to sell cars?  

Well, snipers, some of the skills they have, the operational planning, they are so meticulous with what they do.  And you talk to any sniper in the world, they will say they are better at math than half the people I know and probably more so.  And so we focus on highlighting the skills that they may not realize they have or just don't think about on that everyday basis. But really they are the future leaders.  

HANNITY:  So you are translating military skills into everyday skills, but they also have that added discipline, dedication.  

MILO:  Correct.

BUSH:  Teamwork, personal responsibility.  

MILO:  Loyal, hard-working.  The most selfless people you're ever going to meet.  And if we may not know how to do something right now, if you put the task in front of us, I promise you we are going to get it done.  

HANNITY:  How has that project worked out?  How well are you doing?  

MILO:  We're doing really well.  Last year we placed over 6,000 veterans in new careers.  And I mean careers, not just jobs.  And we're going to continue to do so.  I think we're going to continue to knock it out of the park and we're going to continue to educate all the employers as to what they're going to get when they hire these men and women.  And we are a group of men and women that are not willing to quit.  And we're never going to quit when it comes to this.  

HANNITY:  And this is now your life's vocation, your passion.  This is what you love.  

MILO:  I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help my brothers and sisters in any way.  

HANNITY:  And this is your like passion now.  I know you have spent a lot of time painting, but you also have golf tournaments you do --

BUSH:  Mountain bike riding.  That's where I met Milo.  He's a good athlete.  I love it.  I love riding bikes with him.

HANNITY:  How many miles do you do on a trip?  

BUSH:  We do what's called a W-100, so we do 62, 100 K, 62 miles over three days.  And it's fun.

HANNITY:  Milo, I do not know if I can call you Milo.  

MILO:  You can call me whatever you want to.  

HANNITY:  Thank you so much for being with us, appreciate it.

All right, coming up, we will speak with yet another Purple Heart recipient featured in President Bush's brand new book.  And then later President Bush, he will give me a tour of his gallery where his painting portraits are on display.  That and more as we continue from Dallas, Texas, straight ahead.  


PATTI ANN BROWNE, FOX NEWS REPORTER:  Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Patti Ann Browne.  Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen signaling rate hikes are in the future.  Yellen said those hikes are all but certain in a speech today in Chicago.  The Fed meets later this month to determine its policy going forward.  

The European parliament votes to end visa free travel for U.S. citizens. This coming after the parliament condemned President Trump's order banning travelers from seven majority Muslim countries.  Parliament also saying the vote is in response to a U.S. policy requiring visas from citizens from five eastern European countries.  

And U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate on Monday to answer more questions about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.  

I'm Patti Ann Browne.  Now back to "Hannity." And for all of your headlines, log on to FoxNews.com.  You are watching the most powerful name in news, Fox News Channel.  

BUSH:  Danny Casara is a man of many interests.  He started playing the drums at age two.  At seven he fell in love with baseball.  He was a biology premed student at Xavier University of Louisiana before changing his major to music and the liberal arts.  Then he joined the army.  He was the first participant to compete in both my institutes' golf tournament and our mountain bike ride.  

What makes that remarkable is that in 2005 an antitank mine flipped Danny's M-114 armored personnel carrier in Baghdad, killing two of his teammates and crushing Danny's legs.  "Doctors asked me if I wanted them to save my legs," he recalls. "I said, yes, I came into this world with two legs and I'm going to leave with two legs."  In 2014 Danny spoke in front of a large crowd at a dinner we were hosting during the Bush Institute's Warrior Open.  
He had the entire audience captivated with his story and his lessons.  He was so good I nicknamed him "The Preacher."

SGT. DANIEL CASARA, (RET) UNITED STATES ARMY:  The first time I heard about him painting me made me just ecstatic.  It was an honor and a privilege for the 43rd president of the United States of America taking his time out to paint me and so many others.  

HANNITY:  And welcome back to "Hannity." And we are in Dallas, Texas, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  Joining us now, another American hero featured in the 43rd president's book, "Portraits of Courage, A Commander- in-Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," he is also a Purple Heart recipient, retired U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Casara is with us.  Good to see you, sir.  It's an honor.  You're wearing my favorite converse.  

CASARA:  There you go.

HANNITY:  Was it surprising that the president of the United States did a portrait of you?  Did you know it was coming?

CASARA:  I did not.  It wasn't until I want to say maybe a Facebook post. And I don't even have Facebook, but someone did and sent it to me and blew me away.  

HANNITY:  What does that mean to you?  

CASARA:  It was an honor.  And just knowing that someone that has been a part of leading the free world, and took the time.  And that is what I think people need to understand.  He took the time.  He could have gone and withered away or cycled or golfed.  

HANNITY:  He could have done what I want.  I have been wanting him to bash Obama for eight years.  He wouldn't do that.  

CASARA:  He did not do that because he is a man of honor and integrity. And to see the 90-something portraits of great men and women shows that integrity and honor that this man has for this country.  

HANNITY:  This really means a lot to you.  I know it does for all the other guys.  

BUSH:  Guess what I call him?  


BUSH:  The Preacher.  

HANNITY:  Is that what you call him?

BUSH:  So at our events we ask the vets to speak.  He gave one of the most stirring speeches.  I've heard a lot of speeches.  This guy can speak. Remember that?  

CASARA:  Thank you, sir.  

HANNITY:  That was awesome.  Would you consider being a preacher?  

CASARA:  No.  


CASARA:  I love God, but I don't believe that is my calling.  

HANNITY:  Let's talk about what happened.

CASARA:  Sure.  So on 23, September, 2005, I was in south Baghdad, Iraq. And me and five others were in an M-113, armored personnel carrier, so a smaller tank basically to get us from point A to point B.  We rode over an anti-tank mine, IED, EFP, whatever it was.  But it had enough power to where it flipped the tank over.  It killed two of my guys.  From that I sustained bilateral fractures to my right tibia and fibula, shattered left tibia, both my heel and ankle bones were shattered and dislocated right here.  

HANNITY:  And how did you heal?  How are you now?

CASARA:  Healed slowly, still healing to this day.  

HANNITY:  Are those the two guys that were with you.

CASARA:  These are.  Anytime I have a bad day, I just look down and think about their families and it pushes me through.  

HANNITY:  I told the president, I have been, I went to Iraq.  I also went into one of the hospitals there when I was there.  And I've gone to Bethesda, Walter Reed.  It is embarrassing.  You kind of walked out saying, these things are pretty superfluous that I think in my life when you see the suffering.  

BUSH:  Tell him what you said about your legs.  

CASARA:  Oh, right, yes.  So the doctors asked me if I wanted to keep my legs.  The chance of me being able to walk again was pretty low according to them.  It was early on so they had not seen many cases like mine.  So the question was, do you want to keep them?  And I told them.  I said I came in with two, I would like to leave with two.  

HANNITY:  So it made it harder, your recovery?  

CASARA:  It did.  It did.  I remember the first time I got out of the wheelchair to try to walk again.  I was on parallel bars.  I went half the way with my arms because I was strong, tough.  It's just I had no mobility down below.  And I am walking with my arms.  And the physical therapist yanked on the belt that was around me and pulled me back and said no, that is not how this works.  And just trying to put one foot in front of the other was very difficult.  

HANNITY:  He didn't want to be relying on your upper body strength?  

CASARA:  That's correct, because when you walk you rely on your lower body.

HANNITY:  And where are you now in terms of all your progress?  

CASARA:  Well, golfing and cycling.  

BUSH:  He's one of the few vets that has played golf in our tournament and rode the W-100.  He is doing damn good.  

HANNITY:  That's pretty good.  

CASARA:  That's a very accurate statement.  


HANNITY:  What was the speech that so inspired the president?  Do you remember what you were talking about?  

CASARA:  It was just about just being there and just kind of how I felt and trying to be a voice for the men and women that were sitting there.  I wanted the donors and those that were in attendance to understand that we are not to be looked down forests or seen as oh, poor warrior, poor veteran.  This man, woman is at this place.  What can we do to help them?  

HANNITY:  I do think a lot of people don't understand the trip to Germany, the trip to Bethesda, Walter Reed, these guys are there for a year or longer.  

BUSH:  Yes, but most people -- a lot of people.  I should say most.  A lot of people would look at Danny and say I feel sorry for you.  

HANNITY:  You would hate that.  

CASARA:  I really would.  

HANNITY:  I respect your courage.  I think the single most special quality, character trait, is courage.  And you embody it.  All these other guys embody it.  And Mr. President, I think that is what you capture in these guys.  

BUSH:  Thank you.  I think the thing we ought to focus on is helping people like Danny transition because the future of our country is very bright when you think about the Dannys of the world taking leadership roles.  And that is what we are all about.  That's why this book was written, how can we help these men transition.  This guy is awesome.  

HANNITY:  Pleasure to meet you.  

CASARA:  Thank you, sir.  

HANNITY:  I think you're really supposed should be a preacher, though.  

CASARA:  I appreciate that.

HANNITY:  If the president says you've got to do something, you've got to say yes.  Yes, sir.

BUSH:  No, he doesn't.


HANNITY:  All right, we're going to come back.  President Bush will take me on a tour of his gallery for his portraits of courage are being displayed, that more as we continue from the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.


HANNITY:  And welcome back to "Hannity." And we are at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  We're in Dallas, Texas.  Earlier I had the chance to tour the gallery with President Bush and get a firsthand look at the paintings that make up "Portraits of Courage."

BUSH:  This is Melissa Stark (ph).

HANNITY:  That is a great picture there.  You've done a number of self- portraits.  

BUSH:  That looks like Alfred E. Neuman.  

HANNITY:  This baby girl is really cute.  

BUSH:  That is Lily from Roswell, New Mexico.  This one, I met his mom and dad, and saw Willy in the hospital.  He'd never get out.  And I was shocked when I looked on the roster of people that were going to play in our golf tournament that Lily was on the tournament.  He came and played and I said could he bring his daughter by to see me.  I thought, the scar on his head points exactly to the little girl.  His brother in arms, Schumacher (ph), it's an experimental painting in a way that I didn't complete a lot of it.  

HANNITY:  What part didn't you complete?  

BUSH:  Like here.  This is just the hint of shoes.  But the reason I did that is I wanted to emphasize the prosthesis.  And then I love the idea of these two guys are arm-in-arm, both real good men.  

HANNITY:  We talked earlier about how often you go to Bethesda and Walter Reed.  If you had to guess how many times you were over there?

BUSH:  Probably six times a year, I would guess.  I don't know.

There's Faulkenberry (ph) who you talked to.

HANNITY:  That's a great shot.  And some of these guys are really great golfers.  

BUSH:  Yes.  A couple of them back here are really good.

Dan Evans (ph) story struck me.  He lost both legs and is now a yoga instructor and believes that yoga is an important way that people can heal. And he travels the country giving lectures.  And Jay Barkley (ph) lives in Houston.  Here's Scott Adams.  Barkley (ph) lives in Houston, 45 percent of his body burned, father of three.  He's got a good job in the private sector.  

HANNITY:  You never told anybody you were painting them before you did it.  

BUSH:  No.  

HANNITY:  Not one.  Wow.  That's amazing.

BUSH:  This is a different style if I'm not mistaken.

BUSH:  A little bit.  It evolves.  Some of them have more paint than others.  Will is a guy who works for Bell Helicopters, friend of mine, really good mountain biker.

Now here is the -- this is the piece, this is 16 feet long.  And this is, you know, I painted, as you can see, except for these two guys, the uniforms were pretty uniform because they were all part of something.  Even though they were in different branches of service they were part of something bigger than themselves, serving the country.  

HANNITY:  What we're looking at, isn't this the mural of heroes?  

BUSH:  Yes, it is.  It's America.  It's people from all walks of life who put on the uniform, and the volunteered to do so.  And so I tell people, what an amazing country.  And one should not feel sorry for them but we ought to be thankful to them.

HANNITY:  We ought to be thankful.

BUSH:  We ought to help them.  And that's what we did here at the Bush Center.  That's why I'm so thankful you came down because I want to talk about, to the vets who are listening, get on the BushCenter.org website. We can help you find a job and help you deal with the invisible wounds of war.  And if you ought there as a citizen and want to help, get on that website.  There are some programs in there that work.  

HANNITY:  Well, the book is phenomenal.  Each individual story is phenomenal.  And I'm impressed.  Four years in, this is pretty impressive. Mr. President, good to see you again.  Thank you, sir.  

BUSH:  Appreciate you coming.

HANNITY:  And coming up, we'll have more "Hannity" right after this break as we continue from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  We're in Dallas, Texas.   


HANNITY:  All right, that's all the time we have left for this evening from the George W. Bush Presidential Center, "Portraits in Courage," gives you a lot to think about, the brave men and women, their sacrifices for our freedoms.  Thanks for being with us.  We'll see you back tomorrow night.   


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