Mother selling letter from Obama to help military son start new life

Ron Recinto
The Lookout

A Pennsylvania mother is parting with a prized note penned by the president to help her son start a new life.

Cynthia Arnold wrote to Barack Obama in January of 2009 after a call from her son, Matthew, who was then a private in the Army as he was filling out required paperwork, reported. One thing Matthew asked his mother was if she or his father would handle funeral arrangements for him if he should he die while on duty, Cynthia Arnold told NBC.

In her letter, Cynthia Arnold pleaded to the president, "I beg you to spare other Mothers from taking a call such as mine from their sons and daughters. Use the power that has been given to you to bring our troops home as quickly and safely as possible."

A few weeks later Cynthia Arnold got a handwritten note from Obama.

"I will do everything in my power to make troops like Matthew my priority," the president wrote on a card with a seal from the White House.

He ended it with: "Please tell him 'thank you for your service' from his Commander-in-Chief!"

Cynthia Arnold treasured the note, NBC reports. But now she's decided to sell the note for $8,500 to help Matthew buy a car for his family as he transitions into civilian life.

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Matthew has left the service after five years as a specialist with experience in chemical operations and small arms maintenance. He was never sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to NBC.

Gary Zimet, curator of, which is selling the letter, told NBC News that the note card is valuable because the president rarely personally signs letters.

It's certainly not the first time a family in need has sold a note from the president.

Earlier this year, unemployed ex-Marine Charles Oliver sold a letter from Obama for $2,500 to help pay bills.

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Last year, Destiny Mathis of Indiana sold an Obama  letter for $11,000 to avoid eviction.

And Jennifer Cline of Michigan sold a letter from Obama in October of 2010 for $7,000 to help pay for her cancer treatment and for a down payment on a house.

"Thanks for the very kind and inspiring letter," Obama wrote to Jennifer Cline, after she told him in a letter that she was struggling to make ends meet and had lost her health insurance.

Woman sells Obama letter to help son start family (Ron for Lookout)

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