'Lone Survivor' Marcus Luttrell stood behind Rick Perry during his 2016 announcement

Rick Perry kicks off 2016 presidential campaign
Rick Perry kicks off 2016 presidential campaign


    Rick Perry kicks off 2016 presidential campaign


Rick Perry kicks off 2016 presidential campaign 01:38

Washington (CNN)The name "Marcus Luttrell" may be most recognizable from the multi-million dollar, blockbuster movie and best-selling novel, "Lone Survivor." But, on Wednesday, Luttrell could be seen standing behind Gov. Rick Perry as he launched his second presidential bid.

Luttrell and Perry's relationship is more than political. According to the Washington Post, Luttrell first met the Perrys at a Naval Base near San Diego where he was in physical therapy, when he gave the family a tour of the facilities. Perry maintained communications with Luttrell through email, continuing during Luttrell's deployment to Iraq in 2006.
In 2007, Luttrell showed up at the governor's residence unannounced and eventually moved in with the family. The SEAL lived on the governor's mansion third floor with an air mattress and a television. The pair's relationship eventually developed into what they called a father-son relationship -- Perry referred to Luttrell as his "second son" on Thursday.
    Perry not only took Luttrell bass fishing, but also helped Luttrell receive medical assistance using his gubernatorial powers, according to the Post. This included calling in the Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for to become Luttrell eligible for Tricare and finding him a spine doctor to treat his back according to the Washington Post.
    Luttrell now has two children with his wife Melanie, who Perry is the godfather to as he calls the Perrys his own family.
    Military experience was key part of the Perry's launch Thursday -- he highlighted his own time in the Air Force, his father's wartime experience as well as the dozens of veterans standing behind him on the Addison, Texas stage.
    Perry also featured support from Taya Kyle, the wife of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle. Taya Kyle appeared on stage with Perry at his event and appeared in a video before the campaign event.