Vice President Mike Pence offered condolences on behalf of the nation for the late President George Herbert Walker Bush, who died late Friday at age 94.

Pence said that the last correspondence his family had with the former president was a letter and photo that his son, USMC Lt. Michael Pence, received in August.

The elder Pence said his son had graduated from Naval aviator training -- which he said included making a "tailhook" landing on the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush.

He said he wrote Bush "as a proud dad" and as the father of a Marine aviator to a retired Navy pilot.

Bush's public relations folks told Pence Sr. that the ex-president had long eschewed the custom of signing autographs.

However, Pence told those assembled to pay their respects to Bush in the Capitol rotunda that not too much later, his son received a package from his fellow military man.

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Included was a signed picture of the flight deck of the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush and a letter that read in part:

Congratulations on receiving your Wings of Gold. Though we have not met, I share the pride your father has for you during this momentous occasion.

All the best,

G. Bush.

Pence Sr. called it "deeply humbling" to stand before Bush's casket and the Bush family.

Former President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife Columba, and the late president's other living children -- Neil, Marvin and Doro -- lined the inner circle of mourners.

To the Bush family, Pence said that "today, on behalf of the first family and my family and the American people, we offer our deepest sympathies. We thank you for sharing this special man with our nation and the world."

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