It was the presidential pardon of a lifetime. Earlier this month, during a wounded warrior event in the East Room of the White House, five-year old Alanah Poullard went running up to President Obama.
“I ran up to him and I fell and I got back up,” she explained to Rev. Al Sharpton during an interview on Friday’s PoliticsNation.
But she didn’t let the slip up stop her. Following her father’s instructions, she informed the president that she needed an excuse note because she was missing school. He obliged, writing “Please excuse Alanah from school–-she was with me,” on White House stationary, and signing it himself.
Pres Obama writes school excuse note for Alanah Poullard, 5, daughter of wounded warrior in East Room today pic.twitter.com/Rznz9J7OcL
— petesouza (@petesouza) September 20, 2013
Her teacher’s reaction, according to Alanah. “Wow!”
She was attending the event with her father, Stacy, a Vietnam veteran, and her mother Yolanda, an army major who was wounded serving her country in Afghanistan.
Alanah had written her own note for the president beforehand, which read, “President Obama, My name is Alanah Poullard. I’m five years old. I live in Hathaway, Louisiana. I love you.”
A friendly Secret Service agent passed that note along to the president, and when he yelled across the East Room to tell Alanah that he had her note, she froze in shock, before taking off towards him.
“I had no idea where she was going but she ran to him, threw her arms around him, he picked her up,” Stacy said.
“I was happy that it happened. I was a proud papa. I was standing there crying, I had tears in my eyes,” he said.
A typical five-year-old, Alanah didn’t exactly sit still during her interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, and she got excited when she heard her mother, who was joining the interview from another location.
“I want to tell mommy hi. Can I?” she asked, waving and smiling at her mother.
Yolanda explained what a happy day it was for her too.
“After coming back from war, and you’re in the room with the president and vice president, and they’re speaking positively, and letting the wounded warriors, letting us know how they care about us and appreciate our hard work,” she said. “It was an honor.”
Watch the full interview with the Poullard family below.