Thomas Gunderson was just there to enjoy a night of country music. When the shots began to rain down on him and his fellow concert-goers, he jumped into action, helping many to evacuate the area and find their way to safety.
While helping others, Gunderson, 28, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
He was in the hospital yesterday, recovering, when he had the opportunity to be visited by President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Despite being in incredible pain, he rose when Melania entered his hospital room. It was obvious that it took everything he had to get up. And nothing was going to stop him from remaining standing when the president walked in. Said Gunderson:
“I will never lie down when the President of this great country comes to shake my hand!
“There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my president the respect he deserves!”
Gunderson told his story to Fox News:
In the early moments of the Las Vegas massacre Thomas joined other concert-goers to evacuate people to safety.
“There were a lot of people helping and risking their lives for others,” Thomas told me in a telephone interview.
In the midst of the chaos and carnage, Thomas kept wondering if what was happening was really happening.
“We heard the rounds going off but we kept thinking, it’s fake, it’s fake,” he said.
A split second later, a bullet plunged into Thomas’ leg.
“I went straight to the ground. It didn’t hurt. My body numbed up,” he told me. “I was covered in a pool of blood — it was shooting out. It was literally everywhere.”
Thomas said he dragged himself behind a row of bleachers.
“I was getting scared at that point,” he said. “I thought I might bleed out.”
In a matter of minutes, two young women came upon Thomas and administered life-saving first aid. One of the women wrapped a belt around his leg, while the other got some men to carry him to safety.
Thomas Gunderson represents the best of the American spirit. He ran toward the trouble, wanting only to help, despite a great risk to himself. And when he could’ve been angry at what unfolded and the injustice of it all, he chose instead to arise from his bed to greet his president. He is what America is all about, not the pampered princesses of the NFL who drop their knee in an arrogant display of self-importance that does exactly nothing to help anyone but themselves.
Hey, NFL, be more like Thomas Gunderson.
And President Trump struck the right note yesterday, when he told the victims of the massacre, “We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain.”