Many viewers were distracted by the burly male twins standing behind him, flanking him on either side.
At first it appeared that they may have just been lucky members of the crowd who happened to have snagged key podium spots behind the former Texas governor, but Perry eventually introduced him in his speech.
Today marked Perry's second run for president and he chose to join the crowded field with a kick-off speech highlighting his time in the air force (with the selection of venue: an airfield) and his special guests.
Perry met Marcus Luttrell not long after the soldier returned from Afghanistan and offered any help should he need any. Luttrell took him up on the offer and they have built a close personal relationship.
"He is not just a lone survivor to Anita and me, he is a second son," Perry said in his speech.
Perry's camp released a video highlighting the former governor's bond with Luttrell over a month ago, featuring Luttrell speaking at an unspecified event and telling how the Perry family has effectively taken him in. In the video, Luttrell called Perry "my best friend and my father figure... teaching me important values that I've learned after the military. I'll owe you forever on that one I mean that's why you're the godfather of my kids, man."
In addition to the Luttrell brothers, Taya Kyle, the widow of famed "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, was also in attendance.
ABC News' Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.