Local Navy veteran introduces Obama

Says he was 'happy' for once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Published On: Jul 19 2012 09:32:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 20 2012 06:52:54 AM EDT

Thousands of people were downtown on Jacksonville Thursday to hear what President Barack Obama had to say, but the remarks by an unlikely choice to introduce the president caught people's attention.

Don Herrin, a 72-year-old Navy veteran, was given the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce the president before his campaign speech at the Prime F. Osborn Convention Center.

"It will never happen again, but I was happy to do it. I was honored to do it," Herrin said.

Herrin said he was given the chance to introduce Obama after volunteering for the campaign last week. Herrin said the campaign called him later that night, telling him he would be sitting with other local veteran's during the speech. Then, a few days later came another phone call asking him to give the introduction.

Herrin said while he was waiting to introduce the president he heard an all too familiar voice.

"It said 'Don Herrin.' I turned around and it was the man. He put his presidential coin in my hand. He said, 'I apologize for being late, not even Air Force One can impact the hand of God'. Apparently they had some very severe thunderstorms," said Herrin.

Herrin has been keeping the coin in his pocket. He said he plans on keeping it.

"With all the things going on in the world you would think there was not anything going on in his mind, except talking to me," said Herrin. "Very impressive."