(CNN) – The decision to shave off his hair in solidarity with a young leukemia patient was simply "the right thing to do," former President George H.W. Bush said in an interview with his granddaughter Friday.
"Little Patrick had leukemia. A lot of the agents shaved their heads and I said, 'Why not me?'" Bush said in a conversation with Jenna Bush Hager that aired on NBC's "Today." Bush Hager is a special correspondent for the network.
"I kind of identify with him," Bush continued, admitting Patrick probably didn't realize he was a former commander-in-chief.
On Wednesday, a photo emerged of a bald-headed Bush with the two-year-old son of a Secret Service agent on his lap. According to a statement from his spokesman, Bush shaved his head after members of his security detail shaved theirs, meant to show support for Patrick.
"They're a wonderful group of people and they're like family with us," Bush said of the Secret Service agents assigned to him.
Bush and his wife Barbara lost their second child, Robin, to leukemia six decades ago at the age of four. When the former first lady saw her husband with a shaved head, she said she was "shocked."
"Surprised and thrilled," she said Friday. "But I think he looks beautiful. He looks younger."