The 44News exclusive coverage of a Gold Star military mother’s special connection with her senator continued with a joyful reunion.
At this year’s State of the Union address, Indiana Senator Todd Young gave President Trump a bracelet from Tri-State Marine mom Sandy Terwiske, whose son Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske died in Afghanistan. Now Sandy has had a chance to thank the senator for that gesture face-to-face.
That emotional reunion happened where the Gold Star mother works, at the Toyota plant near Princeton, Indiana. During an average day the plant brings together steel, plastic and rubber – but that visit from the senator brought together two Hoosiers who have united in sacrifice and service to the nation.
For Sandy Terwiske, keeping alive the memory of her son Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske is so important.
“He was very humble; always smiling, always happy, just a giant,” Sandy remembered. “The Marines called him a gentle giant because he was a big guy, 6’2, and always had that smile and had a gentle way about him.”
Making sure her son is never forgotten is exactly what Indiana Senator Todd Young promised her when she first gave him that special bracelet.
“But when you wear it, I said, always remember the fallen, remember Alec, and all the fallen, and all of the military and all of our veterans that sacrificed, and what that means,” Sandy told him.
The senator wore the bracelet every day until the State of the Union, when Sandy texted him asking to share her gratitude with the President.
“I never thought it would really go, where he would actually tell the President that,” Sandy recalled. “I even felt foolish afterward for even texting him that because you know Todd’s busy, the President’s busy.”
But Senator Young fulfilled his promise, giving the President the bracelet on live television with the whole country watching.
“Think about it: the President of the United States has my son’s bracelet,” Sandy beamed. “It might be in drawer somewhere. It might be in the trash can, but you know who cares. He got my son’s bracelet.”
This is the first time Sandy has reunited with the senator since the President received the bracelet.
“I have spoken to the President, it’s really meaningful to him to have that bracelet,” Senator Young recalled. “I feel like it’s my duty as then her elected congressman to call her up and try to offer a measure of comfort and let her know we appreciate the sacrifice her family made.”
Now he’s no longer just a senator to Sandy–he’s family.
“The Marines is like a brotherhood,” Sandy shared. “And now I look at him as he’s just one of my many Marine sons.”
Young’s quest to honor the sacrifice of Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske hasn’t ended with giving an engraving to the President. The senator wants to see the name of Sandy’s son not just on a bracelet, but on a building.