President Trump and the First Lady paused their tour of storm ravaged Lee County to pay respect to 23 crosses representing lives lost. His visit to Providence Baptist Church where the crosses are displayed led the president to shake hands with first responders and volunteers. Trump eventually made his way to 12-year-old Gatlin Oxendine.
“We all went over to the west campus where we got to meet him and he talked about what he was going to do, how he was going to do it, he even went in to how he was gonna come in the day of the storm,” Oxendine said.
Oxendine says he was helping out first responders all week at the church. During President Trump’s visit, he signed some of the volunteers’ bibles but Oxendine walked away with much more.
“He signed my bible and he signed my hat and I asked him if I could take a selfie and he was like yeah turn around from just like the boundaries and then he looked under the table and he said come under the table and he let me come under and we chitchatted a little bit,”Oxendine said.
After signing bibles, President Trump gave Oxendine his White House sharpie. Pastor Rusty Sowell says he was happy to see the president and Oxendine were able to meet because Oxendine is a huge part of the Beauregard community.
“What you see is real it’s not put on. He’s got a very kind heart he’s very generous and a very giving young man and I think that you’re probably going to be hearing more out of him in the days ahead,”Sowell said.
Oxendine says it saddens him that the president’s trip to Lee county was under such bad circumstances, but he is happy to see his community rally together to help each other recover.