How Mom’s Letter Paved Way for Young Man’s Visit With President

By Lauren Putrino

Dec 25, 2011 8:00am

A young man whose mother wrote a letter to President Obama is now scheduled to meet with the president.

Jeremy Carr, 23, has Down syndrome. Carr volunteered with his mother, a Vietnam War veteran, at a road clean-up event in the spring staged by Chapter 862 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. It was one of several veterans volunteer events in which Carr has taken part.

Throughout the morning of the clean-up, he never asked to take a break, didn’t stop to talk about his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, or his favorite WWE star John Cena, his mother said.  He didn’t even ask for anything to eat or drink.  He asked his mother only one thing several times during the day, “Mom, will President Barack Obama be proud of me for helping the soldiers?”

She reassured him he was, but that wasn’t enough for him.  Carr asked his mother to write Obama to ask him.  For a long time, Theresa Carr put off writing the  letter, she said, thinking, how could she write to the president of the United States with such a request?

But as the months passed, she told ABC News, she asked herself, “How could I not honor such a simple request from a young man who would love nothing more than to serve his country, serve his commander-in-chief?”

In early September, Theresa Carr mailed Obama a letter with her son’s question, never believing he would respond.

She was wrong.

Since his first week in office, the president has read 10 letters every day, culled from the tens of thousands of letters, emails, and faxes the White House receives daily.  And every week, he replies to 15 to 20 of them with hand-written answers.

He responded to the Carrs’ letter, however, in a speech. On Veterans Day, in an address at Arlington National Cemetery, the president said, “Jeremy, I want you to know: Yes, I am proud of you. I could not be prouder of you, and your country is proud of you.”

After the speech, the National Association of Vietnam Veterans of America arranged for Carr to meet the president next month. The group planned the visit to thank Carr for his volunteer work.

Learn more about Jeremy Carr below.

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