While many of us were fascinated by the photos of the five living presidents together last month at the dedication of the George W. Bush Library, a member of our community got to see this historical moment in person.
Brad Boyer, deputy director of National Trail Parks and Recreation, was at the dedication ceremony in Dallas by invitation.
“To have them all together was amazing,” said Boyer. “To see one is powerful, but to see five together is amazing. I’d been around ‘41’ and Clinton, but not around Carter or Obama.”
Boyer particularly enjoyed the picnics, receptions and a tour of the newest presidential library.
“It brought up memories I’d forgotten,” he said.
And when he started to explain the details, I was the one who was amazed. Let’s start this story from the beginning.
When the Greenon graduate was attending Bowling Green State University in 2003, Boyer got the opportunity to volunteer for the Bush campaign.
“They asked if I was interested in going on the road, and I had no clue what that meant.”
Over the next four years Boyer worked a series of jobs including the state to state campaign, Presidential Inauguration Committee, a job with the Secretary of Transportation and as the Travel Manager at the White House in 2008.
I have to just stop at this point and let this sink in – Brad Boyer, whom I first knew as John and Dawn Boyer’s little boy at our church in Enon – grew up to work every day in the White House. I had known he worked for President George W. Bush, but not to the extent that he did.
“I always stopped and savored the moment, to take in what I was able to do” he said as he described arriving at the White House to work each morning. “I knew that if I took that job for granted it was time to go.”
He also traveled on Air Force One with President Bush to Africa, Japan, Italy, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Ranch at Crawford, Texas, the G 20 Summit, China for the Olympics, and the Vatican to meet the pope.
Whoa. The pope.
“The library was a very personal experience for me. It made me realize how important it all was. It was hard to realize that from day to day. I looked at the displays and thought, ‘I was there.’”
He was also frequently on the White House lawn to welcome foreign dignitaries from all over the world.
Four years ago when President Bush returned to Texas, Boyer returned to Ohio.
Now married to his lovely wife Laura and the father of their daughter Avery, Boyer is enjoying living back in Clark County where he grew up. He enjoys living closer to friends and family, including his sister Amelia, who lives only a couple of doors away. And he’s not even 30 yet.
I asked him how his travels and his experiences in the White House prepared him for his current job, as the deputy director of National Trail.
He told me it helped him to be ready for all types of events and to work with all sorts of people.
“I want to give back and be a part of his community, and I love being outdoors.”
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