Veteran honored with portrait painted by President George W. Bush

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- A wounded warrior and avid bicyclist, Captain Kevin Rosenblum had the chance to meet the 43rd President twice, once last year and again a few months ago, thanks to his mountain bike.

"I applied and I was lucky enough to get selected," said Rosenblum, who served in the U.S. Army from 2004 to 2009, including two tours of Iraq.

Rosenblum says through an organization known as Team Red White and Blue he heard about President Bush's unique bike ride at his ranch in Texas.

See photos of the painting:

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George W. Bush paints portrait of veteran
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George W. Bush paints portrait of veteran
Over the past several months, I've painted the portraits of 98 wounded warriors I've gotten to know - remarkable men and women who were injured carrying out my orders. I think about them on #VeteransDay and every day. Their paintings and stories will be featured in PORTRAITS OF COURAGE - a book and special exhibit - next spring, and I am donating all my proceeds to @thebushcenter and our Military Service Initiative's work to honor and support them. Click link in bio for more info.

A wounded warrior and avid bicyclist, Captain Kevin Rosenblum had the chance to meet the 43rd President twice, once last year and again a few months ago, thanks to his mountain bike.

"I applied and I was lucky enough to get selected," said Rosenblum, who served in the U.S. Army from 2004 to 2009, including two tours of Iraq.

Rosenblum says through an organization known as Team Red White and Blue he heard about President Bush's unique bike ride at his ranch in Texas.

"He invites about half a dozen to 20 wounded post 9-11 veterans there to come ride for three days," said Rosenblum. "It's  100 kilometers over the three days."

The former President gets to lead the troops once again, only this time it's a peloton he's in front of all three days.

For the former Army Captain it was more than just an opportunity to ride with a former U.S. President.

"The biggest thing I took away from it is that it was completely non-partisan, non-political, the point of the ride is to support veterans and raise awareness for the invisible wounds of war," he said.

Rosenblum says he deployed shortly after being commissioned a 2nd Lt. and was wounded in a mortar attack.

"The mortar that hit most of us, hit right basically where we had been standing," Rosenblum recalled.

Thrilled to announce my latest passion project: Portraits of Courage, a collection of my oil paintings and the stories of 98 wounded warriors who have inspired me. Pre-order the book now (link in bio) and reserve tickets to the special exhibition at @thebushcenter. I'm donating all my profits to the Bush Center and our Military Service Initiative's work to honor and support our veterans and their families.
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"He invites about half a dozen to 20 wounded post 9-11 veterans there to come ride for three days," said Rosenblum. "It's 100 kilometers over the three days."

The former president gets to lead the troops once again, only this time it's a peloton he's in front of all three days.

For the former Army Captain it was more than just an opportunity to ride with a former U.S. president.

"The biggest thing I took away from it is that it was completely non-partisan, non-political, the point of the ride is to support veterans and raise awareness for the invisible wounds of war," he said.

Rosenblum says he deployed shortly after being commissioned a 2nd Lt. and was wounded in a mortar attack.

"The mortar that hit most of us, hit right basically where we had been standing," Rosenblum recalled.

The Lt. caught a few pieces of shrapnel in his leg but refused to leave his troops. He would do a second tour before getting out of the Army and making his way to Virginia.

Rosenblum says he was aware going into the first ride, the President had taken up painting and did portraits of some of the veterans who visit his ranch.

See photos of both Presidents Bush through the years:

11 PHOTOS
George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (41 and 43)
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George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (41 and 43)
President George H. W. Bush and family
Former US President George H. W. Bush shakes hands with his son, former US President George W. Bush's, during a dedication ceremony at the George W. Bush Library and Museum on the grounds of Southern Methodist University on April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library is dedicated to chronicling the presidency of the United State's 43rd President, George W. Bush. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: Former President of the United States, George W. Bush, throws out the first pitch as his father Former President George H.W. Bush looks on before the Texas Rangers host the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: Former President of the United States, George W. Bush, embraces his father Former President George H.W. Bush after throwing out the first pitch before the Texas Rangers host the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Former presidents George H.W. Bush, left, and George W. Bush share a laugh during dedication ceremonies for the new George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
Former presidents George H.W. Bush, left, and George W. Bush look over the crowd at dedication ceremonies for the new George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
Houston, USA. 17th Nov, 2013. Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, left, and George H.W. Bush ride onto the field before a game between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders where they served as honorary team captains for the Texans on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Houston. Credit: George Bridges/MCT/Alamy Live News
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: Former President of the United States, George W. Bush, throws out the first pitch as his father Former President George H.W. Bush looks on before the Texas Rangers host the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
US President George W. Bush (L) waves as he walks out of the Oval Office with his father, former President George H. W. Bush, after Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 at the White House in Washington, DC, September 25, 2008. The “ADA Amendments Act” will help ensure that individuals with disabilities – including people with diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer – qualify for protection under the ADA and obtain reasonable accommodations. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President George W. Bush (C) looks back towards photogrpahers as he walks out of the Oval Office with his father, former President George H. W. Bush, after Bush signed S. 3406, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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After participating in the 2015 bike ride, Rosenblum attended the one day alumni ride a few months ago, but he never expected the email he recently got.

"Can you sign the waiver, because President Bush has painted a portrait of you and we're going to publish it and you need to sign the waiver," Rosenblum recalled, adding that he sent the waiver back almost immediately.

"It was amazing, the President, he's a great guy," said Rosenblum.

That portrait and the others President Bush has done will go into a book called Portraits of Courage.

All the proceeds from the book are going to go to benefit the Military Service Initiative, which is a non-profit organization dedicated towards post 9-11 veterans.

But Rosenblum was quick to point out there is a also another reason the book is so important.

"It's more about making sure that the greater American public still realizes that we're at war, still realizes that there are veterans that struggle with issues associated with TBI and PTSD every day."

RELATED: Remember that time George W. Bush went fishing with Putin?

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The time George W. Bush went fishing with Putin
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The time George W. Bush went fishing with Putin
Fishing guide Billy Bush (2nd L) hands Russia's President Vladimir Putin (3rd L) the fish Putin caught as former U.S. President George H. W. Bush (L) and U.S. President George W. Bush (3rd R) applaud during a fishing trip in the waters off Kennebunkport, Maine. July 2, 2007. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
U.S. President George W. Bush tips his cap at the cameras while fishing with his father, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the waters off Kennebunkport, Maine July 2, 2007. Presidents Putin and Bush are meeting at the Bush family's home in Kennebunkport. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
KENNEBUNKPORT, ME - JULY 2: In this handout photo provided by the White House, former President George H.W. Bush (L) and President George W. Bush (R) watch as Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) holds up his catch, with the help of fishing guide Billy Bush on July 2, 2007, during a morning outing at Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Photo by Eric Draper/White House via Getty Images)
KENNEBUNKPORT, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (R) applauds as Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) catches a striped bass 02 July 2007 while fishing in the Atlantic Ocean off of the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Having last month offered to host a controversial US missile defense system on a Russian base in Azerbaijan, Putin grabbed the headlines with a proposal to extend the US scheme to other parts of Europe, with NATO participation. While welcoming the idea as 'very constructive and bold,' Bush checked Putin by insisting that the Czech Republic and Poland must remain 'integral' to the system. AFP PHOTO/ RIA NOVOSTI/ KREMLIN POOL/ MIKHAIL KLEMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLEMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
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