Gold Star Parents from Superior to Honor Son in D.C.

Updated: May 16, 2018 06:48 PM

It's been nearly 10 years since Bruce and Sue Vrooman received news that their son, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vrooman, had been killed in Iraq.

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The Superior couple stopped by our studios on Wednesday. Bruce told us, "It feels like a lifetime ago. And at the same time, just like it was yesterday." 

The 28-year-old from South Dakota had risen to the rank of Staff Sgt. "He was the type of leader who issued orders, but then he'd jump in and help them," recalled Sue. In fact, he had jumped in to clear buildings in Iraq, when he was killed. But he went in before the rest of his men, ensuring that dozens more weren't also hurt.

Jeremy modeled his career after Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's former National Security Advisor. The Vroomans told us the two served together, and developed a deep bond. McMaster was part of Jeremy's funeral, and the Vroomans have stayed in touch ever since.

McMaster is retiring from the military, and invited the Vroomans to be at the ceremony on Friday. "I don't know who's more excited, us or him," Bruce said. "To be part of his life is very important to us, since it's an extension of Jeremy."

And McMaster secured them an invitation to the White House, the first Monday in June. The emails came on the same day, Sue remembered. "I was reading the first one from the White House. And I said, Bruce, you're never going to believe this."

Then, the hand-addressed invitation came in the mail. "It said, The President and Mrs. Trump request the pleasure of your company at the reception for Gold Star Families to be held at the White House," Sue read.

They decided they had to go. Then, a little further down in the email, came the invite to McMaster's retirement event. Sue said, "I'm going to give him a big hug and say, Jeremy is here with us today. And we wish you the best retirement ever."

Bruce said these experiences are a little surreal. "We're there because Jeremy lived a life worth living, and was someone worth knowing."

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