President Bush photo taken by Roberta Bramlet.
In 2002, The Presidential Prayer Team told the inspiring story of one Presidential Prayer Team member, Roberta Bramlet, who volunteered to help a local political candidate. As a thank you, she received two VIP passes to President Bush's nearby appearance. To read the first part of Roberta's story, click here.
Roberta never expected a thank you of any kind, so she was both surprised and thrilled when the campaign office placed in her hand two tickets to President Bush's speech at the local fairgrounds. Though she doubted she would be able to meet the President, she attended along with her 86 year old father, Ivan, a WWII veteran who proudly wore his VFW chaplain's uniform. What the two experienced at the event will surely be remembered for all of their lives.
When they arrived at the fairgrounds, they were surprised to learn that their tickets were for the VIP section, directly beneath the speaker's podium. As they prepared for the long wait it began to rain. The rain turned briefly to snow, and they were soon soaked to the bone. The rain let up just before the President appeared and they listened intently to his speech. As Mr. Bush finished speaking, the rain began again with renewed intensity. Though they had now been standing for more than three hours with the hope of shaking the President's hand, they all believed he would not brave the rain, and would take cover. But President Bush came down into the crowd and worked his way along the long line of people who had listened to his speech.
As the President came closer to Roberta and her father, they hoped for a simple chance to shake his hand. But, in Roberta's words, "what happened next will live in both my dad's and my memory until the day we die."
As the President approached, he noted the VFW uniform, and took Ivan's hand saying, "Thank you for your service to your country, Chaplain." Mr. Bush moved on to Roberta, quickly shaking her hand and continuing through the pressing crowd.
As he passed, she quietly added, "I pray for you every day."
The President stopped in his tracks and moved back to stand squarely in front of Roberta. Taking both of her hands in both of his, Mr. Bush looked her straight in the eyes and said, "That's the finest gift you could give this President. Please, keep it up." As the President moved on, Roberta added, "I'm a member of The Presidential Prayer Team!" Mr. Bush stopped again and looked back at her. "Good!" he said. "Get all your friends to sign up. I need that!"
Roberta's responsible citizenship and her faith met in a wonderful way that day as she was rewarded for both her dedication to prayer and her determination to learn all she can about the candidates who run in her district. The Presidential Prayer Team congratulates Roberta Bramlet for speaking up about her dedication to prayer, especially when face to face with the President.
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