President Barack Obama has shaken the hands of many, but none have impacted him quite like Army Ranger Cory Remsburg.
In an emotional new video, the President documented his relationship with Remsburg in the seven years since they first met in 2009 – which was ahead of the Afghanistan explosion that left the sergeant with a traumatic brain injury, two collapsed lungs, paralysis and damage to his vocal cords.
“Seven years ago today, while honoring the heroes of D-Day, I met a young Army Ranger, Cory Remsburg,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post. “Eight months later, I walked into a hospital room at Bethesda to visit a grievously wounded soldier. It was Cory, and he had been nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan.”
Obama noted that he’d kept in touch with Remsburg while he worked toward recovery, even inviting the soldier to the January 2014 State of the Union address, where he was seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Cory recently visited me in the Oval Office – and, for the first time since the explosion, Cory is walking short distances unassisted,” wrote Obama of Remsburg, now 33. “He was determined to walk into the Oval Office on his own.”
Remsburg posed with POTUS in the accompanying clip, telling the camera, “I honestly never thought I’d be in the Oval Office, so that’s very special to me.”
The president said “no one has inspired me more than Cory.” “Getting to know you was one of the most important things I’ve done,” he told the veteran. “I really believe that.”
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Remsburg was a member of the elite Ranger corps, enlisting at age 18 and serving 10 tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He has maintained a positive attitude despite his daily hardships, telling PEOPLE in 2014, “What I tell other people in similar situations is: the key is to want it. You have to want it.”