[Ed. – Hard core.]
It occurred in December 1983, when President Ronald Reagan’s war against communism in Central America was at a crossroads. El Salvador’s military, backed by the Reagan administration, was being pilloried for human rights abuses, such as the torture and killing of civilians, including Catholic nuns.
Reagan wanted someone to go on a hair-raising adventure into the jungles of El Salvador and deliver a stern warning to the out-of-control commanders of the Salvadoran military: End the death squads and allow free elections, or America will abandon your fight against the communist rebels.
He chose his vice president. …
As they flew to their destination, anti-aircraft fire flashed below from the Salvadoran jungle, where civil war raged. (Just two weeks later, the pilot who took Bush to and from the meeting was shot dead in his cockpit by a communist rebel.)
Bush, the World War II torpedo-plane pilot, was unfazed.