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The "Mystery Boy" Who Sat Beside Melania Trump Has An Inspiring Story

The Times

Viewers who tuned in to President Trump's State of the Union speech did a double take when the camera turned to First Lady Melania Trump.

Some people thought the youngest member of the First Family, Barron Trump, was sporting a new haircut. Then, there was confusion as viewers realized the "mystery boy" sitting beside Melania wasn't Barron at all.

AP

So who was he, and why was he sitting beside the First Lady?

It turns out 12-year-old Preston Sharp was a guest of honor at the speech, and he earned a standing ovation when Trump mentioned the young boy's accomplishments.

April Sharp

Though he's not even 13 years old, Sharp has started a national movement that pays tribute to America's veterans.

It began with a trip to a local military cemetery with his grandfather when Sharp was just nine. The young boy complained that the tombstones didn't have any American flags or flowers on them.

USA Today

Sharp's mother April told him, “You can’t complain about something unless you try to do something about it,” and he took her words to heart.

Now, three years later, Sharp's "Flags and Flowers Challenge" earned him a trip to the White House.

On his website, Sharp says his motto is to "Honor veterans every day, and not just on a holiday."

Erin Claassen

To keep that pledge, Sharp has placed red coronations and U.S. flags at the graves of more than 40,000 armed service members.

The young boy's goal is to honor veterans in all 50 states, and he's encouraging other children to do the same using the social media hashtag #FandFChallenge.

Sharp even adopted an aging Vietnam War veteran's dog after the man was forced to move into a nursing home.

Sharp and his mother April sat next to Melania Trump at the State of the Union.Redding.com

At the State of the Union speech, President Trump congratulated Sharp for "a job well done," and said we could all learn from his example.

“Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans,” Trump said. “Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.”

President Trump greets Sharp and his family.KRCR7

Sharp was given a special seat next to the First Lady during the event, and was even invited to meet President Trump in the Oval Office earlier that day.

You can donate to help Sharp hand out more flowers and flags on his GoFundMe page.

Now we all know why this 12-year-old deserved such a great seat!