Ailing George H.W. Bush Did a Last 'CAVU' Favor for Pence's Marine Son
By Richard Sisk
December 3, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence recalled Monday how he asked a last favor from an ailing George H.W. Bush in August on behalf of his son, Marine 1st Lt. Michael Pence -- never expecting that the former president would be able to comply.
The young Pence had just made his first tailhook carrier landing on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, earning his wings as a Marine pilot. Could the former president please autograph a photo for his son?
Pence said Bush's staff replied that he was no longer signing autographs, so he thought that was the end of it. But within a week, a handwritten letter and a signed photo from Bush arrived.
"Congratulations on receiving your wings of gold," Bush wrote to Pence's son. "Though we have not met, I wish you many days of CAVU ahead" -- a reference to the Navy acronym meaning "Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited" that he adopted as his motto in public service.
Pence told the story upon the arrival of Bush's casket at the Capitol as an example of the former president's basic decency and humility. Even in death, Bush performed another public service in the form of a brief respite from the partisan infighting and mudslinging of the warring factions of the White House and Congress.
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