News Article | 11/12/2013

Ross Perot delivers Veterans Day message in Walterboro

The deep-rooted Texas twang is still there, even if the voice is not as strong as it used to be. H. Ross Perot, the billionaire one-time presidential candidate and friend to servicemen and women everywhere, visited a veterans nursing home Monday to deliver a thank-you to all those who have worn the uniform. “Your services and sacrifices have given us the freedom that we have today,” Perot said during a 15-minute address. “You understand something that most people simply don’t understand, and that is: Freedom is not free.” Perot, 83, delivered the keynote address at the Veterans Victory House where more than 400 people gathered in the site’s lunchroom-turned-auditorium. Many were elderly and in wheelchairs. Some served as far back as World War II, including several Tuskegee Airmen and at least one local survivor of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Perot made a rare trip to South Carolina after being invited to speak by Rudi Gresham, a retired Green Beret and former presidential adviser. He has known Perot for 35 years. Gresham is a Walterboro area resident. Following his Veterans Day remarks, Perot clearly felt a little reluctant to discuss the 1992 presidential campaign that much of the country and voters in South Carolina remember him most for.