PHILADELPHIA, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- You're probably wondering: Who the heck is this sweet little old lady?
I am Sharon Belkofer – a mom to three boys who served our country, a retired nurse and a wife of 52 years, a grandma of 10, and even a great-grandma now.
I know that President Obama has meant so much to millions of Americans across the country. I'd like to tell you what he means to me.
Six years ago, on the morning of May 18, 2010, I became a Gold Star Mom – we became a Gold Star Family – when my son Tom, a lieutenant colonel, was killed in Afghanistan.
I first met the President shortly after at Fort Drum, where he was scheduled to speak to the 10th Mountain Division, but when he heard Gold Star Families were there, he wanted to meet with us. And as he was hugging me, I cried all over his suit. Tom would have been so embarrassed.
But it must have been OK, because a year later, at an event in my home state of Ohio, as I hoped to get a picture signed, someone told me, "The President would like to see you." Well, that's when I got my second presidential hug. So warm and kind, so compassionate.
I was inspired.
Maybe this sweet old lady could still make a difference.
I knew my community's schools needed more resources, so at age 73, I took a leap of faith and ran for my local school board. And when my back was bothering me and I didn't feel like knocking on doors, when the wind was blowing and it was cold and dreary, I thought of my son, Tom, who never gave up. And I thought of our President.
He never gives up. So why should I be different? Besides, they tell me walking is good for your back.
Well, guess what – I won my election. I won big! The President even sent me a handwritten note of congratulations. That's who he is – no matter how busy, he's never forgotten this little old lady in Ohio who has always had his back.
You see, some people in this world make big differences. My son, Tom, made big differences. The President continues to make big differences – and smaller ones too. Like the inspiration he poured into me – so that I might make a difference of my own.
I wish every American could hug President Obama – so that they could see the good in his eyes and feel the warmth in his heart.