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Disabled student meets the president and makes a unique request

make a wish
Posted at 5:18 AM, Mar 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-19 05:29:52-04

Mesquite, TX (WTXL) -- Due to spinal muscular atrophy, John Cohen is an 18 year-old man with the strength of a six month-old child... and the heart and drive of a soldier. Cohen is the first disabled member of the Junior ROTC.

Two years after placing his request with the Make-A-Wish foundation, Cohen's dream came true and he was able to meet with President Barrack Obama in the Oval Office.

The young man's purpose was to share his vision with the Commander-in-Chief. He discussed how the Pentagon should establish a corps for those with disabilities who wish to serve their country. The meeting included a PowerPoint presentation created by Cohen, complete with handouts. President Obama reviewed the handout before their meeting and was prepared to discuss upon John's arrival.

"I showed up in the Oval Office and it was on his desk," Cohen told WFAA ABC Dallas.  "He asked me what I wanted to do in the military if I could serve, and I told him.  He said he liked the idea, and would look into it." 

Cohen's platform included the rapid growth of technology and despite the fact that he's in a wheelchair, he could aid his country from behind a computer. 

"People with disabilities and veterans who can still mentally serve, should serve — not just as civilians, but as real soldiers," John said to WFAA.

He described his experience in the White House as "awe-inspiring" and will continue to discuss his ideas to make his dream come true.

To see video of this story from WFAA click here.