While visiting Trump's White House, this NFL player posted a powerful letter to Obama.

Every year, the winning NFL Super Bowl team gets to visit the White House and meet the president. It's supposed to be a great honor.

The champion New England Patriots got their tour on April 19, 2017 — only this year, there were some notable absences from some of the team's big-name players.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.


Some wouldn't say why they chose to pass on the invite — to be fair, many longtime Patriots players have visited the White House before — while others were ... less subtle in their reasoning.

Speaking to CNN, Patriots player Alan Branch said he skipped the trip because of the "disgusting" way that Donald Trump talks about women. "I have no interest in going and shaking his hand," Branch explained. "I've gotta [be able to] go back home and look my daughters in the eye."

Jacoby Brissett, a young third-string quarterback, had his own reason for accepting the White House invite.

Brissett was humbled by the opportunity to visit Washington and sat down before the visit to write a letter to the president.

Just not this president.

While at the White House, Brissett paused for a pic near a photo of former President Barack Obama that he posted to Instagram along with a moving open letter.

"I want to thank you for what you have done for this country — outside of politics," Brissett begins his letter.

"Honestly, I don't know enough about politics to judge what was good or bad, but I want you to know that when you said 'Yes We Can' — a young man dreaming a dream from rough circumstances in Florida heard you."

Dear Big O, I am writing you this letter to say thank you. I want to thank you for what you have done for this country – outside of politics. Honestly, I don't know enough about politics to judge what was good or bad, but I want you to know that when you said "Yes We Can" – a young man dreaming a dream from rough circumstances in Florida heard you. When you were elected President for the first time I was 16 and I watched you make the never-imaginable, attainable and I heard your cry to inspire hope. I used those words as motivation and saw your achievement as an opportunity and permission to work make my dreams come true too. You were the President of the United States – the highest office in the world. You broke a barrier and a stereotype proving not every minority has to use a ball to make a way. You've inspired a lifetime of dreamers young and old. Now, kids from my community – and my future children – will know that there is no dream too big – even they could be the President of the United States. As I prepare for the honor of visiting the White House, I will be there as a Super Bowl Champion – and I will think of you, mainly because the White House is a different, and better place because you lived there. I was a kid that came from nothing and I am living out one of the greatest dreams of my life. I am just grateful for the opportunity to walk on the same steps as you did, and to have a platform to inspire and I hope to leave my mark on history the way you did. One day, when I meet you, I will shake your hand and say thank you to your face but until then this kid is going to continue to dream until I can’t anymore. Thank you for blazing a trail, but for more than that, for leaving a paved road behind you for others to climb on. The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your DREAMS - Oprah Yes we can!! DREAM BIG!! Thank you, Jacoby Brissett P.S Holla at me to help you with your broke jump shot

A post shared by Jacoby Brissett (@jbrissett7) on

You can read the full text of Brissett's letter below:

"Dear Big O, I am writing you this letter to say thank you.

I want to thank you for what you have done for this country – outside of politics. Honestly, I don't know enough about politics to judge what was good or bad, but I want you to know that when you said "Yes We Can" — a young man dreaming a dream from rough circumstances in Florida heard you.

When you were elected President for the first time I was 16 and I watched you make the never-imaginable, attainable and I heard your cry to inspire hope. I used those words as motivation and saw your achievement as an opportunity and permission to work make my dreams come true too. You were the President of the United States — the highest office in the world. You broke a barrier and a stereotype proving not every minority has to use a ball to make a way. You've inspired a lifetime of dreamers young and old. Now, kids from my community — and my future children — will know that there is no dream too big — even they could be the President of the United States.

As I prepare for the honor of visiting the White House, I will be there as a Super Bowl Champion – and I will think of you, mainly because the White House is a different, and better place because you lived there. I was a kid that came from nothing and I am living out one of the greatest dreams of my life. I am just grateful for the opportunity to walk on the same steps as you did, and to have a platform to inspire and I hope to leave my mark on history the way you did.

One day, when I meet you, I will shake your hand and say thank you to your face but until then this kid is going to continue to dream until I can’t anymore. Thank you for blazing a trail, but for more than that, for leaving a paved road behind you for others to climb on. The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your DREAMS — Oprah Yes we can!! DREAM BIG!! Thank you, Jacoby Brissett P.S Holla at me to help you with your broke jump shot"







The letter went viral on social media because it's a message we all desperately need to hear.

There's no "throwing shade" at the sitting president. No doom and gloom. Just pure appreciation for how far we've come and for the hard work and relentless spirit of a man who has inspired so many.

It's a testament to the power of representation, to the impact of seeing yourself reflected in your leaders and what that can motivate new generations to accomplish.

"As I prepare for the honor of visiting the White House," Brisset's letter concludes, "I will be there as a Super Bowl Champion — and I will think of you, mainly because the White House is a different and better place because you lived there."

Sometimes it feels like we're going backward as a country, and it can be easy to forget the strides we made when we elected our first black president. But Jacoby Brissett hasn't forgotten, and neither have millions of other young people like him.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

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