DES MOINES, IOWA – Texas Governor Rick Perry often shows his appreciation for men and women serving in the military, whether it’s on Twitter or in a public speech, and at a townhall in Des Moines Tuesday, Perry offered some advice to a young man entering the Marine Corps this December.
As Perry mingled in the crowd following the townhall, he was approach by Joseph Buhr, an eighteen year old from Altoona, Iowa, who is set to enter basic training for the Marines in December. When he learned the young man would enter the Marines in one month, Perry put his arm around Buhr’s shoulder, drew him in, and whispered in his ear with a few words of advice.
“He told me that if I don’t come across certain challenges along the road of life, I should probably step up my game a bit,” Buhr recounted to ABC News after the exchange. “In the Marine Corps, that actually means quite a bit. You do have to compete quite a bit to succeed in that career.”
“It means a lot coming from a guy who has been very successful in life and who has also been in the military,” Buhr said. “All the advice I can get about life in the military, it means a lot. I don’t take it for granted.”
Perry served in the Air Force from 1972 to 1977, flying C-130 tactical aircraft, before returning to Paint Creek, Texas to help on his family’s farm. Buhr said he not only appreciated Perry’s advice, but also found it critical for a president to have military experience in order to fully comprehend the needs and strategy of the military.
“There cannot be a commander in chief who has not serve in the military,” said Buhr. “If he hasn’t served in the military, he doesn’t understand how it works. You need to have knowledge of how things work inside in order to command it.”