Young veteran in Hawaii receives inspirational letter from President Obama

Patrick Holbrook (Courtesy: KHON)
Patrick Holbrook (Courtesy: KHON)

OAHU, Hawaii (KHON) – On Veterans Day, a young veteran living on Oahu has quite a story to tell thanks to our commander in chief.

In 2011, Patrick Holbrook was medically discharged from the military after the vehicle he was in was hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Like many service members, Holbrook was struggling with transitioning back to civilian life. He was unsure about going back to school and worried about his next career steps.

One night, Holbrook said he couldn’t sleep, so he decided to write President Obama a letter.

In it, he said he wasn’t afraid in Afghanistan, but was horrified at the thought of his future. He also questioned what it means to be a good man.

“I guess I was feeling a little stressed, you know? Overly stressed. I just needed some reassurance,” he told KHON2. “I didn’t expect to get a phone call and a response back.”

Shortly after sending the letter, Holbrook said a White House staff member called him and said the president would be sending a letter back. He got that letter three days later.

“This is the end of the last sentence: ‘Trust yourself and remember that your commander in chief didn’t know what he wanted to do until he was in his 30s,’” Holbrook read with a laugh. “It gave me a little hope and a little perspective.”

The president also wrote, “I can tell from your letter, you’re already a good man.”

Holbrook says he recently got accepted to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and will start in the spring.

(Courtesy: KHON)
(Courtesy: KHON)