Locals remember President Bush’s Blair Co. visit

Local News

As many honored President Bush in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, some in our area remember when he came to Blair County in the 1980s.

In 1986, then Vice President Bush stepped off Air Force One, at the Blair County Airport.

Bush landed at the airport on October 17, 1986.

Rich Brantner, Sr. was Chief of the Martinsburg Police Department during that time.

He, along with other agencies, helped the Secret Service with security and protection during the Vice President’s visit.

Brantner said his friend and fellow Martinsburg police officer Jack Helsel received an official White House photograph of him and Mr. Bush.

The Vice President wrote a note and also signed the photo for Officer Helsel.

The note reads “Best Wishes to Patrolman Jack Helsel. Signed, George Bush.”

Brantner said that his son Rich and friend Matt also got a picture with the Vice President. The story went that Mr. Bush approached the line of people to shake hands, took the camera from Matt, and handed it a Secret Service agent to take the picture.

Whether you have personal memories with President George H.W. Bush or you remember seeing him on TV, folks across the area agree he was a man of honor that will be greatly missed by the country.

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