The following year, SSG Christian Bagge was at the White House to go jogging with President Bush. When the President visited him at the hospital, he was newly arrived and had lost both legs to an IED - one above the knee and one below.
"I first met Christian when I went to Walter Reed -- or Brooke Army in San Antonio, Texas. And he said, "I want to run with you." He was in bed -- he had lost both legs. I looked at him, like, you know, there's an optimistic person. But I could tell in his eyes that he meant it. And after a lot of hard work and a lot of compassionate care, this fine man is here on the South Lawn running with the President. And he ran the President into the ground, I might add.
"But I'm proud of you. I'm proud of your strength, proud of your character. Thank you for your service.
"It's an amazing sight for me to be running with a guy who, last time I saw him, was in bed wondering whether or not -- I was wondering whether or not he'd ever get out of bed. There was no doubt in his mind that he would," said President Bush.
Christian Bagge is from Eugene, Oregon. He currently resides in Texas with his wife, Melissa, newlyweds prior to his deployment.
Christian Bagge participates in sports - running, golf, biking. He mows his own lawn and does his own home repairs. He works on the Wounded Soldier Project and is a spokesman for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial Foundation, which is raising funds for a memorial to wounded veterans. He also speaks at events around the country, but especially enjoys speaking to school children.
Now, SSG Christian Bagge is a finalist for the Energizer "Keep Going" Hall of Fame.
Christian said he could remember the people who spoke to his intermediate school class - and, none of them had prosthetic legs. "I don't expect them to retain everything, but I think I'm memorable. My legs aren't going to grow back. The only thing I can control is my attitude. Everyone's going to go through something hard in life. When it happens I want these kids to remember me, the personality I have and my attitude. I want them to keep going," said Christian.