When Speaker Ryan was deciding who he should invite as his State of the Union guests, a certain four-year-old boy from Milton, WI, came to mind. The boy’s name is Logan Barritt, and he certainly has a story to tell.
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It all began when Logan’s grandfather gave him a handful of pocket change, which he was going to add to his piggy bank. If you or I were given a lump of change, we probably wouldn’t think twice of what we could do with it—if anything, maybe gripe about having to carry it around. Yet when Logan’s mother asked him this very question, Logan had much bigger plans.
“I want to give it to the soldiers,” said Logan, who was raised on the stories of his Uncle Craig, a veteran Marine. Their jobs didn’t seem very “fun,” Logan explained, and he wanted to change that.
Logan’s parents posted a call for donations on their Facebook pages. The result? Enough money to send 17 care packages to Americans serving overseas for Christmas, complete with Pez dispensers.
Logan even thought to include pre-stamped postcards in the packages so he could hear back from these American heroes. His latest correspondence came from a pilot—a picture of his unit and helicopter included.
Even four-year-olds, in the words of David Bowie, can be heroes—and military members of his community agreed, throwing him a surprise thank-you celebration at his pre-school last month. When asked how he felt about all the attention, Logan answered simply with a smile: “Good.”
“Good.” That’s a common theme you’ll find in Speaker Ryan’s visitors box tonight. In addition to Logan and his parents, Speaker Ryan will welcome frontline poverty fighters, like Pastor Omar Jahwar, who leads an organization that provides gang prevention, counseling, and mentoring services to the Dallas community.
He’ll also welcome two members of the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who have been serving the elderly poor since their founding over 175 years ago.
Speaker Ryan’s guests are Americans who have displayed acts of resolve, selflessness, and kindness. They are heroes. And though the State of the Union address is often a night measured by disagreements, Logan unites us all around one simple truth: in America, anyone can make a difference.