AntI-communism socialite Joanne Herring pays homage to President George H.W. Bush

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Joanne Herring shared both a community and a cause with the 41st President of the United States.

"I knew him from the time he was a wildcatter," said Herring with a smile.

Of course, Houston, Texas, was the town and freedom was what they both fought for.

"We are very fortunate to have that sort of American as our President and to have the opportunity to love his legacy," added Herring.

A River Oaks socialite turned anti-Communist agent, Herring's successful effort to arm the Mujahideen against Soviet invaders in Afghanistan was chronicled in the film "Charlie Wilson's War."

FOX 26 News asked Herring, 89, if she believed the then-Vice President quietly supported the mission. Her answer? Absolutely yes.

"We did a lot of things under the table," described Herring. "We had to because so much was at stake. It was part of bringing down the Berlin Wall and ending communism."

In the decades since, Herring said her respect for the former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush has only deepened.

In her view, George H.W. and Barbara were the very definition of patriotism, strength tempered with compassion.

Herring is encouraging anyone who honors the former President's legacy to join her in supporting the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, where a new generation of Americans are preparing to protect the nation's security.

"We have to have people who are qualified to do it and these young people are giving their life to this and it's very exciting that this is in existence," said Herring.

It's her way of saying thanks from one "cold warrior" to another.