Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor of Indiana, made a surprise visit to a school in the state on Friday, Sept. 27.
Pence arrived at Southside Elementary School in his hometown of Columbus around 12:45 p.m. in what his staff called a surprise visit.
A third-grade class at the school had invited Pence to visit, assisted by teacher Mark Yeaton. The students wrote to Pence a number of times and sent him birthday cards.
The students said Pence should visit them and sign an "Indiana Special Guitar."
When Pence arrived, the children were assembled in a central hall. Some were on the second-floor balcony. All were cheering wildly.
Pence told the children he received the letters they sent.
“I flew in from our nation’s capitol on Air Force 2 and I had to come to Southside Elementary,” he said. “I’m the Vice President of the United States but I’m just a guy from Columbus, Indiana.”
He talked about his mother, his stepfather, and a former guitar teacher at the event. He told the kids to dream big, saying “anybody can be anything” in America. Then he signed the guitar, which was blue and in a tiger-print lined case.
According to Pence's office, the guitar “has been signed by other famous Hoosiers, including Vice President Quayle, NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis, actress Florence Henderson, and Winter Olympic medalist Nick Goepper, among others.”
After the school visit, Pence took a trip to Camp Atterbury, where he addressed about 500 people, including 300-plus Indiana National Guard members who will be deploying to Kuwait soon.
Pence thanked the soldiers and said President Donald Trump appreciated them.
He noted that a father and son were among those preparing to deploy and singled them out to congratulate them, saying the pair "underscores the commitment of families in this state to national defense."
Pence was slated to tour the NeuroDiagnostic Institute and Advanced Treatment Center later in the day before returning to Washington. The center is a state mental health hospital.
Reporters tried shouting questions at Pence about the whistleblower complaint but he ignored them.
The day prior, while visiting MacAllister Machinery in Indianapolis, he said Congress' efforts to undermine his and Trump's policy goals wouldn't work.
“Whatever they want to do in Congress to obstruct our agenda or roll out their latest accusation against the president to divide this country, President Donald Trump and I are never going to stop fighting for the policies and ideas that have made this country great again,” Pence said.