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Father, son share presidential letter stories
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Patrick Underwood Sr. and Patrick Underwood Jr. display their letters from President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. - photo by Photo by Jen Alexander McCall
Hinesville elementary student Patrick Underwood Jr. may someday follow in his father’s footsteps in many ways, but the most recent path leads directly to the White House.
Underwood Jr. is the proud recipient of a letter from President Barack Obama, to whom he wrote soon after the president made a stop in Savannah in early March. His father, Patrick Underwood Sr., possesses a letter he received in high school from former President Bill Clinton.
“I wrote President Clinton when I was in high school, and I told my son, ‘maybe if you write President Obama, he’ll write you back,’” the elder Underwood said.
Underwood Jr. said he wrote Obama because “I wanted him to come and meet me. I told him I was the top reader in school. I’ve been making honor roll [at Waldo Pafford Elementary] and I like playing basketball.”
Underwood Jr. also said he told the president he hopes to get a scholarship to play basketball so he can go to college, his dad said.
A few weeks after sending his letter off, Underwood Jr. received a signed reply from the president that thanked him for his kind words. The letter also earned the family a spot on a local newscast when it came in.
“My teacher was surprised” when Underwood Jr. showed her the letter at school, he said. “I want him to come and meet me. I’m going to write him a letter [of thanks] back.”
The Underwoods display their letters proudly on their mantle with other presidential memorabilia. Underwood said when his son turns 18, he can have the letter for his own collection for safekeeping.

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