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TJ Kilcullen meets Obama

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Over the summer, Thomas Kilcullen was granted the honor of meeting the man in charge of the United States, President Barack Obama. Kilcullen met the president through the Boys State program sponsored by American Legion.
“In mid-June, I went to a program called Boys State at EIU. The Boys State program was sponsored by the American Legion, wherein about 500 incoming senior boys from around the state went to EIU for a week to learn about government, civics, and citizenship,” said senior Thomas Kilcullen. Kilcullen stayed at EIU and competed in several scholarship opportunities available. Kilcullen won the Hayes Kennedy Essay Contest, the Lincoln Oration, the Joseph McCraith Model County Citizen Award, and the Boys Nation Senator Award while he was there.
“My winnings totaled $8,000, an unprecedented number of awards out of the 80 year history of Boys State. Because of my impressive accomplishments at Boys State, I was chosen as one of 98 people across the nation to attend Boys Nation,” Kilcullen explained.
Boys Nation took place in Washington, D.C. During the trip to Washington, D.C. is when Kilcullen got to meet President Obama. He re ceived a brief tour of the White House.
“Because of President Obama’s origins as a senator from Illinois, I was chosen to stand next to him for the picture,” Kilcullen said.
Obama came into the room and gave a speech to the crowd. He shook Kilcullen’s hand and had a short conversation with him. He took a picture with Kilcullen and then went around to meet the others.
“I was shocked to realize that the president was, in fact, a pretty frail person, and it was amazing to realize that the leader of our nation, the most powerful man in the free world, was just as human as anyone else,” Kilcullen said.
Kilcullen’s highlight of the trip was not only meeting the president but traveling around and seeing the many memorials and sites to see.
“I went to the Pentagon and met the Secretary of the Navy, and I went to the capitol building and met Senators Kirk and Durbin. I even got to meet my congressman. One day I was invited to have lunch at the House of Representatives dining hall. But best of all, I got to spend the week with an amazing group of veterans from the American Legion, whose passion and dedication to our nation set an inspirational example for those around them,” said Kilcullen.

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TJ Kilcullen meets Obama