FORT KNOX, Kentucky -- The last publicized visit to Fort Knox by a sitting U.S. vice president occurred April 21, 1987, when George H. W. Bush made a two-hour visit to the historic post to get an update on the latest in Armor technology and training.
Bush arrived on Brooks Field in a UH-60 Blackhawk and was greeted by Fort Knox Commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Tait and Kentucky Representative Harold Rogers, who escorted Bush to O'Brien Range.
Donning an Army battle dress uniform, Bush observed M1 tank demonstrations performed at the range by a platoon from Troop A, 5th Squadron, 12th Cavalry. Afterwards, he took an opportunity to drive an M1 Abrams tank for half a mile under the direction of Staff Sgt. Donald Hascher. Following the drive, personnel from Fort Rucker presented the Bush a special demonstration of the AH-64 Apache helicopter. He then participated in a brief battle scenario at the SIMNET facility.
Bush wrapped up his short visit to the post by participating in a two-mile run with Lt. Col. Michael Kush and 60 of his Soldiers from 1st Armor Training Brigade. At age 62, Bush finished the run in 16:58. Following the run the vice president praised the Soldiers and instructed them to "run two more miles, then take the day off." Fort Knox's newspaper, Inside the Turret, noted that Bush was impressed by the quality of Soldiers he met during his visit.
Bush served as vice president under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989. In 1988, he was elected the 41st President of the United States and served one term.
In addition to his political career, Bush was distinguished as a decorated naval aviator during the Second World War. Bush died at his home in Houston, Texas Nov. 30. Fort Knox paid tribute to the life of the former president with the firing of a cannon at Brooks Parade Field every half hour Dec. 3 from Reveille at 6:30 a.m. until Retreat at 5 p.m.