September 4th, 2012
07:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Military mom introduces Michelle Obama

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) – When Elaine Brye sent Michelle Obama a Christmas card last holiday season, she probably had no idea the small guesture would lead her to the stage of the Democratic National Convention to introduce the first lady herself eight months later.

But in a series of events, that's precisely how Brye wound up in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week where she's set to share the spotlight with another, though slightly more famous, mom.

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Hailing from Columbiana County in the swing state of Ohio, Brye is a mother of five children, four of whom are in different branches in the military. Her husband has been deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, and she was in Air Force ROTC for two years.

Brye originally sent a the letter to Mrs. Obama last winter, thanking her for her involvement with military families. Mrs. Obama, two weeks later, invited Brye to attend a state dinner held for British Prime Minister David Cameron in March, where she and her husband sat at the head table with the Obamas and the Camerons - and George Clooney.

She told the Cleveland Plain Dealer she was asked to introduce Mrs. Obama just last week.

"I am going to talk about my connection with Mrs. Obama, and how crazy this is," says Brye, who described herself in the paper as an independent voter but who has registered as a Republican.

What else will she say in her remarks? She'll just be "speaking mom to mom," according to her interview with Voice of America.

– CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar contributed to this report

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Tell the public just how down to earth the Obamas are,could you envision the Romneys doing that,not on your life a draftdodger inviting a military man and spouse to dinner,how hypocritical.The Romneys ,stooping down to show gratitude for a serviceman and wife,they'd be the talk on the countryclub circuit for weeks,its just not right letting the middleclass eat with wealthy Mormon elitist,Ann Romneys parents couldn't see her get married and is this more important,I think not,at least in their eyes!!That's their thinking like it or not,they are out of touch, a legend in their own minds!!

    September 4, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. T'sah From Virginia

    A nice build-up to a fantastic moment – Yes We Can!!!

    WE LOVE YOU MICHELLE!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    September 4, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Lee

    The question about political capital being spent on healthcare instead of something like jobs. The question is why and against who would the capital need to be spent? Who or what party would fight against jobs? What group is against jobs for Americans and why does anyone need to spend political capital to fight for jobs? The question by itself states the GOP was or is against jobs for Americans in AMERICA. The answer is within the question sadly.

    September 4, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Sugarbowl17

    What a beautiful crowd of people at the democratic convention!! God bless them all..

    September 4, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  5. Sugarbowl17

    Well said young lady!! We don't need movie stars like Clint Eastwood to speak at a convention. We have real Americans situations going on here . This is not a darn game people. This is a serious situation in America;-)!!!!!!!$ Americans need to pull together stop the race hating and become a civilized group of people!! Like I said This crowd is so beautiful all races of human being present.

    September 4, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  6. Jerubbaal

    Anyone can show kindness and empathy to loved ones, friends and church members, but only the called can show these to strangers. The Obamas, real people, not cardboard cut outs.

    September 4, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. enuff

    That's a very nice story... and it is actually aabout the mom and her military family. Such a refreshing change from the "red dress" story.

    September 4, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. cali girl

    Thank you to Elaine, for the service you and your family give this great country. We applaud you for your commitment to keeping America safe.

    September 4, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Steven Colo

    Brilliant move. The Obamas come across as just plain folks, something Romney will never be able to claim, and also come out as supporting the military.

    September 4, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  10. C. W.

    It is so very out of character for the commentators with CNN to disrespect the Deomocratic Convention with the negative comments that we are hearing. Let the Democratics have their night and a GREAT NIGHT it is! Good luck Democratics and blessings.

    September 4, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  11. jessie

    Support for our military the one percent that she said defended us. These are the one that are losing their jobs. So I don’t see where that is support. I see it as they have risked their life over and over and when times are tough and they can’t pay the bills that they have made. Let’s hit the men and women and the families that sacrificed one more time and cut their jobs.

    September 4, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  12. Ann

    Michelle.. 'there is no such thing as us and them.."

    really? All you can hear from Mr. Obama is 'us' and 'them'

    September 4, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    I'm watching our First Lady now and she is stunning. I think this is the best speech she's ever given and she looks absolutely fabulous. I am so grateful to her and the president for speaking up for those of us who have no voice outside of our computers. Tonight she is giving it EVERYTHING she has and she is doing it in a compassionate, thankful and heartfelt way. She is blowing this speech OUT OF THE PARK and Ann Romney doesn't even run a close second. This is what America looks like tonight and I see it through the DNC convention and the FLOTUS.

    God Bless our First Lady and help her to keep fighting the fiight for a better tomorrow.

    September 4, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. Name

    Its time to go to work Democrats, lets roll up our sleeves and help save this country! Obama/Biden in Twenty Twelve!

    September 4, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Lancer

    Yes WE can!! Amazing...tear jerking speech. Go OBAMA/BIDEN!!

    September 4, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  16. naturalCUgirl

    Michelle is pouring out her heart and soul on the stage right now and bringing tears to my eyes. Hearing that her struggles and our President's struggles are just like mine, just like my parents', and just like those of so many others across the nation. We don't spned our time walking around in our $900.00 shirts, riding around in one of our Many luxury vehicles, and spending tens of thousands of dollars every year to care for horses when there are so many people out there going bankrupt because they couldn't afford their cancer treatments, or can't afford to provide their children with simple health care, or don't make enough money to cover their basic living expenses. Sharing those experiences that are all too familiar to the majority of the nation is the most beautiful and honest thing I have ever seen in my life! I am so proud to call Mr. Obama my President because he represents me and my struggle; he will absolutely get my vote in November.

    Mitt and Ann need to take lessons from Michelle...that's how you relate to the middle class!!!

    September 4, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  17. inthemidl

    wonder what the military mom thinks of Romney's deserter ancestor and the lack of military invovlement by his 5 sons.

    September 4, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. T'sah From Virginia

    Michelle Obama BARACK the HOUSE!!!!!!!! In the end, I cried because that was MY STORY, and I was able to relate to it and the AUDIENCE!!!!!!

    Barack & Michelle Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    September 4, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  19. Montana mom

    Why in the world does CNN ask Republican supporters to give downer comments regarding speeches at the Democratic Convention? Why Ari Fletcher? Obviously he is not going to give encouraging comments.

    September 4, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  20. Mary McNamara Robinson

    My sister is Elaine Brye and I could not be more proud of her tonight. She spoke her own words. Anyone who knows my sister knows no one puts words in her mouth! She spoke the truth when she said "I am not political" because while she has her political choice, one thing she believes in is supporting the Commander in Chief, regardless of party lines. Anyone who has a military background understands this.

    September 5, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  21. CAgirl

    I don't recall ANY Dem commentators trashing the speakers during the Rep Conv yet we have Ari Fleisher and Alex Castillanos being the uninvited guests who rain on the parade of this convention. Go home and leave us to our heyday.
    Go Michelle, go Dems, go Obama. May you continue to turn this country around in the next four years. There are clearly problems, but going back to trickle down and putting more money into the pockets of millionaires won't lift us up. I don't agree with the entire party platform (illegal immigration for example), but I support the Dems to the alternative.

    September 5, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. stopobama

    inthemid- the military mom should be very worried how Obama has not done any peace keeping action to sanction IRAN outside the Bush Presidency. Let's not talk about ancestry..... please it took $2MM for a birth certificate, how much will it take to fact find other things? it cost me $30 for my birth certificate.

    September 5, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  23. OldieTampaBay

    Without a doubt .. one of the BEST speeches by a First Lady in our time! It is SO refreshing to hear someone speak from the heart!
    To the NEXT 4 years! God Bless the Obama's & God Bless the United States of America!

    September 5, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  24. Thomas

    @essie
    Support for our military the one percent that she said defended us. These are the one that are losing their jobs. So I don’t see where that is support. I see it as they have risked their life over and over and when times are tough and they can’t pay the bills that they have made. Let’s hit the men and women and the families that sacrificed one more time and cut their jobs

    No you can't see . Maybe you think we need to start another war to keep them employed ? Maybe you don't understand the importance of education and the transition into civilian life. Maybe you don't consider what Obama has done to support the VA when he put geneal Retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki in charge of the Va.. Maybe you don't remember what the state of the economy was when GW Bush left town ? Or maybe you don't want to see ?

    14 vets a day commit Suicide in this country . And you want to elect a man who's five sons have great jobs , yet avoided voluntary military service ?

    Where are the jobs you ask .

    September 5, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  25. Anonymous

    I am proud to be an American, and I am proud of our President and the way he shares his First Lady with us. She is such an inspiration. May God always Keep you, your family and the President in the palm of his hands and under the shadow of his wings. Gpd Bless

    September 5, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
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