A military mom has once again been called upon by the first lady.
Winona resident Elaine Brye introduced Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday night, sharing her message of support for military families.
Brye and her husband, Courtney, parents of four military members in four different branches, shared the head table at a state dinner at the White House in March welcoming British Prime Minister David Cameron. That invitation came after she wrote a Christmas card and letter to Obama in appreciation of her support of military families.
Military mom Elaine Brye of Columbiana County shows off a picture of her children during her introduction of First Lady Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday.
The latest opportunity came as just as big a surprise, she said.
"I was totally shocked again," she said. "I mean, who gets to do this twice?"
Brye said she received a call while returning home from a visit with her mother-in-law and initially thought it was about a request she had submitted for a tour of the White House. Instead, it was an invitation from Obama to attend the convention with her.
A second call was a request that she introduce the first lady.
"I was speechless," she said. "This was completely unexpected and unsought."
As a former junior / senior high school science teacher at United Local and a current plebe moderator for Naval Academy Parents Listserv offering advice to parents of new naval recruits, Brye said she has written speeches in the past but not for such a large stage. She said she worked with a speechwriter to make her message of taking care of military families fit into a two-minute time frame.
"It's a message that everyone can come together, and it doesn't matter what your position is," she said.
A budding relationship with the first lady is something that Brye said she is honored by.
"As a fellow mother who cares about their children and their service [it means a lot]," she said. "There are a lot of long days and sleepless nights while your children are in harm's way, and to think that the commander-in-chief and first lady are thinking about us is just amazing. And for her to want to be a friend ..."
The Bryes, who met in the Air Force, are the parents of a son who is a captain in the Marines, a son who is a lieutenant in the Navy, a daughter who is a first lieutenant in the Air Force and a son who is a second lieutenant in the Army.
Winona is south of Salem in Columbiana County.