Local Chaplain's first hand memories of President Bush

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV)- There's a man here in the Black Hills with a bunch of first hand memories of the 41st President and First Lady Barbara Bush.

Herb Cleveland is a former Chief of Chaplains for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in Washington, D.C.

From time to time he would be called on to pray with Presidents.

We spoke with Cleveland back in June for a different story, about Cleveland's career as a Chaplain.
During that story he shared some of his memories of late President George H.W. Bush.

One of those memories was being called on to pray with President Bush before a historic event.

"The prayer for the day of the invasion under President Bush
for the Middle East, and praying for the safety of our troops, and the advisors and those who were doing this tremendous effort," Cleveland recalled.

Cleveland says that he and President Bush were at events together on quite a few different occasions in Washington.

"He was very, very light, very gregarious I call it, and big heavy hand shake, ya know. And like to pat you on the back," Chaplain Cleveland remembers.

"Barbara was very much, 'Oh it's so good to see you' and 'Thank you for being here' and 'Let's go into the Roosevelt room' and 'Lets go into this room and we'll talk about something here'," Cleveland said of First Lady Barbara Bush.

Cleveland served under 3 Presidents. The late Ronald Reagan, late President H.W. Bush, and President Bill Clinton.

Monday evening we spoke to Cleveland again, via telephone, and he said the late President Bush always had a great sense of humor, and that Bush combined his humility with his greatness.