Destin family meets President Trump

JENNIE McKEON
jmckeon@nwfdailynews.com
Joseph Jerzerick poses for a photo in front of Air Force One during President Donald Trump's visit to Northwest Florida last week. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

PENSACOLA — While thousands were packed into the Pensacola Bay Center for President Donald Trump's rally last week, one Destin family actually got to shake hands with the president.

Rose Jerzerick, along with her husband, Lyn, and their 12-year-old son, Joseph, were among the small group of people who greeted President Trump as he arrived at Naval Air Station Pensacola (NAS) on Friday afternoon.

"I have a dear friend who works in the White House who reached out and asked if we'd like to meet the president," Jerzerick said.

The family jumped at the chance. They had to undergo security background checks and were cleared Thursday.

Jerzerick said she couldn't wait to tell her son that they would be meeting the Commander in Chief.

"He knew we were waiting to be approved," she said. "When I told him we were going, he said, 'Really, are you serious?' "

Rose, Lyn and Joseph arrived at the NAS tarmac around 4:30 p.m. Friday, just minutes before President Trump arrived in Air Force One. Alongside them were a few dozen people including the Blue Angels and members of the media. Trump first spoke to the media pit before making his way through the crowd.

"It was the most amazing experience," Jerzerick said. "There was so much love and support. There was about 60 people out there and he made the effort to shake hands with everyone."

Jerzerick said her son practiced a firm handshake at home just for the occasion.

The Jerzericks did not go to the rally. Instead, they chose to watch it from the comfort of their home.

"I love to hear him speak," Rose said. "Everything he says is right on point. There's some people that don't support him and that's fine ... we'll have to wait and see what happens (after his term)."

Although there were no selfies or flash photography allowed, Jerzerick was able to snap a few photos and videos on her cell phone, which seventh-grader Joseph said he planned to share with his civics teacher at Destin Middle School.

They'll also be mementos for the Jerzerick family.

"We'll have the pictures printed and framed and hanging in the house," Rose said.