Monday, October 10, 1960
JFK was in Warms Springs, Georgiaat the FDR Little White House and met Andrew Jackson Kirksey, the son of one of the two crewman killed on PT109. He was accompanied by his mother Kloye, who presented Kennedy with a small, hand-carved donkey braying at an elephant. After shaking hands with JFK, Andrew and his mother and Kennedy were escorted into a private room. Jack Kirksey later recalled the meeting,
It was almost like a family member asking what you’d been doing and how you’d been doing in school. He was mostly interested in asking questions about my schooling and my life. He wanted to know if anyone had contacted me about veterans’ education benefits, which they had not.
He was interested in my mom and how she was doing and if everything was OK. He just was extremely interested in people. He was an extremely compassionate man. He was such a caring guy. If you had any personal contact with him, you couldn’t help but be bowled over. He was bigger than life.
[127, p. 230, 234]