Local WWII vet receives letter from President Trump
Bob Barger's story has spread around the world, even making it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Bob and The University of Toledo were mentioned in a White House press briefing and that amazing moment was followed up with a special delivery Wednesday morning.
Decades after his last class, Bob received an Associate's Degree from UT. After serving in the Navy, Bob left school to focus on his family and work. If not for a casual conversation decades later, Bob's dreams of a degree would never have come true.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders mentioned Bob yesterday,"The President and First Lady would like to extend a special congratulations to Bob Barger. 68 Years after sitting in a classroom, Bob graduated from The University of Toledo earlier this month."
The accolades from Washington didn't end there. A letter from President Trump arrived for Bob today, "You don't get much higher than that do you. Thank you Donald, I voted for you!"
Bob read the letter with Haraz Ghanbari to this morning, the man who helped him get a degree, "Your hard work, diligence and passion to learn exemplify the greatest generation's commitment to excellence and the American spirit."
Haraz and Bob struck up a friendship in 2013 when Bob was part of Haraz's Naval promotion ceremony, "All of this is just icing on the cake when it comes to this journey. Have you been surprised by the reaction to Bob's story? I think America really has a heart of compassion for the men and women in the military. It is reassuring."
Haraz says the story has now been heard by hundreds of millions of people, "The analytics show that more than 500 million people around the world have heard Bob's story, and that was before yesterday's white house press briefing. After this, I wouldn't be surprised if his story reached twice that many people."
So how did this all begin? It started after a dinner conversation about life one night. During a visit to Haraz's home Bob said he was never able to finish college. A search of the records at UT showed that Bob did in fact have enough credits for an Associates Degree.
Haraz believes there's a lot more to come for his mentor, "I told Bob God is not done with your journey I told him that I really believe that all the people who have seen your story are asking themselves what is it that I can still do? "
One more example of Bob's incredible accomplishments at the age of 96. He still hits the golf course once a week, weather permitting.
He played 18 holes yesterday and while he says he can't drive like he used to, he can still put and chip pretty well!