A man who was shot in the leg during the Las Vegas massacre on Sunday is getting a great deal of attention after he refused to stay in his hospital bed when President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump came to visit him on Wednesday.
Thomas Gunderson’s decision to stand up and greet the Trumps when they came to visit him has been widely heralded as patriotic.
“I will never lie down when the President of this great country comes to shake my hand!” Gunderson wrote in an Instagram post that included a video of the encounter. “There may be plenty of issues in this country, but I will always respect my country, my president and my flag.”
He continued, “Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my President the respect he deserves!”
Indeed, the video shows Gunderson struggling to his feet to greet both the first lady and the commander-in-chief.
Melania Trump is first seen entering the hospital room and greeting Gunderson, asking him how he is and imploring him not to get up when she sees him trying to do so.
While Gunderson told her that he was okay, he continued working his way to his feet. After he stood up, President Trump entered the room and shook his hand.
“This guy looks tough to me,” Trump said. “How’s your leg?”
Watch the video below:
I will never lie down when the President of this great country comes to shake my hand! There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my President the respect he deserves! #potus #potustrump #trump #firstlady #class #love #positivity #unite #unity #unitedwestand #america #noracism #nohate #respect #honor #humbled #prayforvegas
A clip that Trump posted to Twitter shows him meeting with victims, including Gunderson, and appears to show that Gunderson had #MAGA (which stands for Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”) written on his hotel room white board.
WE LOVE YOU LAS VEGAS! pic.twitter.com/nxRWeR1gEz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2017
In a separate post, Gunderson shared a photo of him with the first lady and the president and asked his followers not to leave “any hateful or negative comments” on his post. He called meeting the Trumps the “greatest honor” of his life.
“It’s bittersweet being under these circumstances and my heart truly breaks for all those who lost their lives and their families,” Gunderson wrote. “I want all of you to know there were many brave souls out there trying to protect everyone.”
Whether you like him or not I'm asking that you please leave any hateful or negative comments off this post. This was the greatest honor of my life to meet the President and First Lady of the United States of America. It's bitter sweet being under these circumstances and my heart truly breaks for all those who lost their lives and their families. I want all of you to know there were many brave souls out there trying to protect everyone. Through this horrific incident and the evil actions of one man, please try to realize that there were thousands of incredible people risking their lives for others that they didn't even know. Let me say that I am NOT more special or brave or of a hero than anyone else in that festival. I happened to be in this position to meet the POTUS and I accepted. I love all of you and I pray that we can unite as a country through this tragedy. No matter race, gender, sexual preference, political opinion or anything else. Let's come together as one and show the world how great we can be! Lastly, I want to thank President Donald Trump and his beautiful wife Melania for taking the time to visit me and show they care. They even invited me to the White House!!! #potus #potustrump #trump #maga #makeamericagreatagain #mypresident #firstlady #america #unite #unity #prayers #prayforvegas #honor
In the end, Gunderson, who said that the Trumps also invited him to the White House, hopes Americans can unite after the Las Vegas shooting.