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Retired Secret Service Agent: ‘They Don't Make Them Like Barbara Bush Anymore'

Editor's note: Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday, April 17, in Houston, Texas. She was 92.

The family of Barbara Bush has been spending time with the ailing former First Lady and her husband President George H.W. Bush in Houston.

Mrs. Bush has decided to end her treatment for a string of medical problems that have hospitalized the 92-year-old over the past couple of years.

A former secret service agent who protected the Bush family gave NBC 5 some insight into the former First Lady.

“They don’t make them like Barbara Bush anymore,” said Robert Caltabiano, retired Special Agent.

While there is great sadness in finding out Mrs. Bush’s health is failing, Caltabiano says what makes him happy is knowing she is doing it her way, still calling the shots in the Bush family.

“If we look back, our country looks back with fond memories of Mrs. Bush with her pearls, with her beautiful white hair. Really putting the heart and soul for our country, because she was the face, any first lady is,” he said.

The seasoned, retired secret service agent who has protected eight U.S. presidents and their wives, teared up just speaking about Mrs. Bush.

Caltabiano was assigned to President Bush and Mrs. Bush during and from 1997 to just before 2001 after his presidency.

She called him Bobby.

Caltabiano says he will always remember Bush Senior’s integrity and Mrs. Bush’s wit, her bluntness and that look. That look she would give, like a mother warning her kid to shape up.

Caltabiano would go on walks with Mrs. Bush and her dog and she would ask about his family.

He says she is one independent woman who would drive her own car and go out without secret service from time to time.

“You could be in a grocery store and there would be Mrs. Bush and she was very approachable, talked to anybody, loved people,” he said. “She’s way ahead of her time, from the greatest generation, just an intelligent, glue. She was the glue and is the glue of the Bush family and in many ways for us being around her, she held us all together.”

Caltabiano plans on reaching out to the Bush family and has a message for Mrs. Bush:

“Mrs. B., Bobby loves you, the Caltabiano family loves you. Thank you for all that you’re doing for our country and fight, fight, fight.”

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