President Donald Trump invited a 94-year-old World War II veteran to the podium Tuesday in a touching impromptu moment during his address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Convention in Kansas City — and invited him to visit the Oval Office with his family as well.
“Here with us today is an extraordinary man who embodies the highest ideals of loyalty patriotism and service. He is a World War II veteran from the great state of Pennsylvania,” Trump said as he introduced Sgt. Alan Jones. “Should we bring him up?”
As Secret Service agents escorted Jones to the stage, Trump said, “Come on. He is only 94, and the Secret Service made him walk about 100 yards out of his way, but that’s OK. That’s all right.”
Jones thanked Trump for inviting him on stage and said, “This is one of the highlights for this 94-year-old man. I just want to tell you a few things. May I, Mr. President?”
Trump smiled, saying, “I’ve got time.”
Jones told Trump that he had four brothers who served during World War II, noting that his oldest brother “was lost off the coast of Italy. Many times, I just wish that he could come back to the land of the free and the home of the brave again.”
Jones was given a prolonged standing ovation when he said, “I have given to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 70 years of my life.”
Although his wife wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t be with him Tuesday on the stage, Jones said he was honored to “stand beside the president of the United States.”
“Mr. President, I want to ask you something,” Jones said. “I have been told that I could never enter the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. I am going to be 95 years of age April 11 of next year. Hopefully you will allow me to bring my family into the Oval Office to meet you?”
Beaming, Trump promised Jones that he and his family could visit him in the Oval Office “any time you want.”
After Jones left the stage, Trump pledged that he would be a “president that will have you in the Oval Office.”
“So all of my people back there are working it out already, OK? With honor,” Trump added. “And we pay tribute not only to Alan, but to all of the heroes of the greatest generation.”
Praising the Americans who have “stormed into danger, stared down evil and stood strong and tall for God, country and freedom,” Trump said that every American’s heart “swells with pride” for the veterans.
“To every single member of the VFW, because of your service, your courage and your example, we are restoring the dreams and the glory and the greatness of America,” Trump concluded his speech. “We will never give in, we will never give up, and we will never stop fighting for our country, our flag and our freedom.”