"I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket! ... I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward."
Standing at the back of a packed high school gym as Vice President Biden finished speaking in Ft. Myers, Florida, on Saturday was 15-year-old Kobe Groce. He cradled a "Forward" sign, hoping to get the Vice President to sign it for his brother, Kaelin. After unsuccessfully trying to make it to the front of the event, a staff member asked if he could help. Kobe told his story, and the staffer left for a moment and came back, saying simply: "The Vice President would like to meet you."
"I turned around and looked back at my mother as I was walking with the staffer in disbelief—I didn't know how to react. I was about to meet the man that helped make my life so much better.
"My mother, Jessica, raised us as a single mother. She's a teacher and has worked so hard to support her four children. I wanted the Vice President to know that yes, we are definitely better off than we were four years ago. My family has received the tax cuts for the middle class that the President and Vice President passed, and it has helped us tremendously.
"The President and Vice President have gone above and beyond for people like me and my family, and they stand for things like keeping school affordable. My older brother uses Pell Grants and college loans to be able to afford school, and I'm thankful for that. I want to be able to go to Florida State University one day, and now I know I don't have to worry about being able to afford it. Life would not be the way it is today if they hadn't taken office four years ago.
"The Vice President approached me and I was introduced to him as a ‘special guest.’ I was overwhelmed with different emotions. I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket! I met someone who has done so much for my family without even knowing us, and that was an incredible, overwhelming feeling. I felt like he really heard me, like he knew who I was. I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward."
Kobe was very grateful for the chance to meet the Vice President, but he didn't want to leave without something for his brother.
"I explained to the Vice President that the reason I was there was because my older brother inspired me to do so. He said, 'Do you have his phone number?' Then he called him and said, 'Kaelin, this is Vice President Biden' and they chatted for about five minutes! He also signed my placard, and the last line of his note really has stuck with me. He wrote: 'It was a pleasure meeting you, keep the faith.'
"I'm definitely going to keep the faith, and the thing I'm most looking forward to is watching President Obama and Vice President Biden being sworn in for a second term on January 20th, 2013."
Today, Kobe is signing up to spend the last 34 days of this campaign working as hard to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden as they are working for him. Follow Kobe's lead and sign up to volunteer now.