Horses brought to bedside of dying US war veteran who wanted to see his 'friends' for last time

Terminally ill Vietnam War veteran Roberto Gonzalez asked to see his horses by his bedside, on May 21, 2016.
Terminally ill Vietnam War veteran Roberto Gonzalez asked to see his horses by his bedside, on May 21, 2016.PHOTO: LUPE HERNANDEZ/ SOUTH TEXAS VETERANS HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FACEBOOK

Mr Roberto Gonzalez, a terminally ill Vietnam War veteran, experienced a heartwarming encounter with two very special "friends" when he made a request to see both of them on Saturday (May 21).

The two "friends" that he longed to see were his horses - Ringo and Sugar - and the animals had to travel about 241km just to be by his bedside at San Antonio's Audie Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in Texas.

The meeting coincided with the anniversary of the day he was injured in the Vietnam War.

According to The Daily Mail Online, Mr Gonzalez, 65, was paralysed after he was shot on May 21, 1970, just two months into his military service in Vietnam.

Even after his spinal injury, he worked as a horse trainer for 40 years in his hometown of Premont, Texas.

His wife, Mrs Rosario Gonzalez, told News4SA.com that "her husband was one of the only handicapped or paralysed licensed horse trainers in Texas".

"He loved horses, he loved cattle, he loved ranching and farming. He was proud to serve his country," she told ABC affiliate KSAT.

A Facebook post by South Texas Veterans Health Care System stated that Mr Gonzalez was one of San Antonio VA Hospital's first patients when it opened in 1974.

Mr Gonzalez, who has been hospitalised for the past 10 months due to several infections, was finally reunited with horses Ringo and Sugar on Saturday.

The touching reunion was captured on video and in photos as the bedridden war veteran was brought outside to greet his two beloved friends.

Both horses instantly recognised Mr Gonzalez .

His wife told News4SA.com that "when the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes. They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him".