Welcoming Melania Trump and Karen Pence to the Texas Gulf Coast

December 7, 2017

Yesterday I had the honor of welcoming the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, and the Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, to the Texas Gulf Coast. We were joined by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and visited families, schools and organizations in Corpus Christi, Rockport and Aransas Pass for updates on the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

We started the day with a big Texas welcome by over 40 Hurricane Harvey Heroes - police, fire and EMS from Corpus Christi, members of the Texas Department of Emergency Management, and members of the Texas National Guard.

"I enjoyed meeting with first responders, volunteers, and families affected by Hurricane Harvey, and my sincere thanks, thoughts and prayers go out to all of them. The people of Texas are strong and resilient, but there is still much work to be done. This administration is committed to providing the time and resources necessary for the long road ahead." - Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States

We then departed to Rockport to visit with a family that is currently living in a FEMA MHU (Manufactured Housing Unit) because their home was damaged in the hurricane. The MHU is next door to their damaged home, which we toured and heard of their plans to rebuild. Melania and Karen brought gifts for the parents and their five children, and I gave the family a Governor’s Mansion Christmas ornament and Pancake stuffed animal dolls.

"It was an honor and privilege to join First Lady Melania Trump and the Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott to meet with those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. I am inspired by the strength and tenacity of Texans as they continue to rebuild from the storm.  We appreciate the efforts of Governor Abbott and his administration and Commissioner George P. Bush to help Texans recover from Hurricane Harvey. We all stand with the people of Texas." - Karen Pence, Second Lady of the United States

Following that visit, we traveled to Aransas Pass to tour Charlie Marshall Elementary School and meet with teachers and students. All five campuses in Aransas Pass ISD were damaged by Hurricane Harvey, and Charlie Marshall Elementary is currently home to 6th and 7th grade students because the middle school was so badly damaged that it still isn’t ready for students. But the spirits were high and school administrators and teachers have provided a wonderful learning environment for the students, even in the wake of such disruption.

"At the Texas General Land Office, we know home is more than a roof over your head – it’s a place of peace and comfort. I want to thank Mrs. Trump, Mrs. Pence and Mrs. Abbott for joining us here today. You play an important role. You are lifting spirits and helping bring comfort to coastal families affected by Hurricane Harvey this Christmas season. Thank you for being here to help us show Texans we’re here for them and we are going to keep working together to bring Texans home." - George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner

From there we headed back to Corpus Christi to meet with volunteers at the Coastal Bend Food Bank and help sort boxes of donations. The food bank sustained damage by Harvey but that hasn’t stopped them from going into overdrive to make sure the communities that depend on them are still receiving the assistance they need.

Last but not least, we stopped at a Texas institution…Whataburger!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Melania and Karen not only for the visit, but for their continued interest in the rebuilding and recovery efforts of Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Each time I travel to a community damaged by the storm, I am reminded of the resilience and character of the people of Texas, and I was proud to get to show that off. We are all in this together, and we are all committed to doing whatever it takes to help Texans recover and rebuild stronger than before.