Former President George H.W. Bush joined fellow veterans at a pancake breakfast Saturday at American Legion Post 159 in Kennebunkport.

The impromptu visit was scheduled after the former president heard members of his staff planned to attend the breakfast and decided he wanted to join, said spokesman Jim McGrath.

“He said, ‘Hey, I want to go too,’ ” McGrath said. “It was very spur of the moment. It being Memorial Day (weekend), having a chance to spend some time with veterans seemed like the thing to do for him.”

Bush, 93, arrived at his family’s compound at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport last week.

“He is thrilled to be here. His family arrived this weekend. He is on cloud nine,” McGrath said in a telephone interview Saturday.

Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser when Bush was president, joined the veterans breakfast at the American Legion hall on Main Street. Scowcroft, a close friend of the former president, also owns a home in Kennebunkport.


Bush spent about 45 minutes with veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, McGrath said.

“The thrill was really for the president to be there. He really enjoyed it.”

The former president was a combat pilot in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was shot down in 1944 during a bombing raid on enemy installations.

Bush served as the 41st president from 1989 to 1993. He has come to Kennebunkport almost every year since the 1940s. This will be the first summer since then that he will be in Maine without his wife, Barbara, who died in April.

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