DES MOINES, Iowa - Texas Governor Rick Perry wiped a tear from his eye when he introduced a veteran at an afternoon town hall here. Perry shared the story of Capt. Dan Moran, a Perry supporter who received a Purple Heart after being one of two survivors in an IED explosion that killed three others in Fallujah.
"He has the most incredible, giving, understanding about selfless service. A young man who can be better today but he loves this country, and he understands the importance of selfless, selfless sacrifice," Perry said of Moran at a townhall at Nationwide Insurance.
"He understands that freedom is not free, that all too often there is a huge price to pay, and he exemplifies that Marine Corps motto of Semper Fidelis, always faithful, as anyone I know," Perry said, wiping a tear from his eye as he said his name.
Perry, who served five years in the Air Force, has grown emotional speaking about veterans in the past. At a rally in Perry, Iowa, on Monday, Perry passionately spoke of creating a support network for soldiers when they return from combat.
"That's part of what this is all about. It's about those young men and women. It's about supporting 'em when they come home," Perry said, tearing up as he introduced Moran and Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell.
Earlier Monday, Perry choked up as he introduced Luttrell, a Navy Seal who received the Navy Cross after being the lone survivor of a firefight.
"By the grace of God, he was saved for what reason we still don't know yet, but it's about serving his country continuously. It's about standing up for our veterans. It's about making sure that America never forgets that there are extraordinary men and women in every generation," Perry said.
The Texas governor has made a push to court the veterans' vote in recent weeks. In early December, he announced the formation of Veterans for Perry Coalition aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina.