A few months ago, Fred made his first-ever contribution to a political campaign, becoming Obama 2012's 2 millionth donor.
Then he got the "thank you" of a lifetime.
"I'd just come in from doing some work outside when the phone rings. I pick up, someone asks, 'Is this Fred?' I say yes, and he says, 'Please wait one moment for the President,' and they play a few notes of Hail to the Chief! I was like, 'What's going on here?' The next thing I know, I hear, 'Fred, Barack Obama here. I'm calling to thank you for your support.'
"He goes on to say, 'I understand you're a 20-year Coast Guard veteran, and you're wife is a teacher?' I told him that was right, and he says, 'Schoolteachers are my heroes—they're teaching our future.' I tell him he's right, and my wife is a high school English teacher, and she really goes above and beyond.' He says, 'Well, I just wanted to thank you,' and I said, 'I'd just like to tell you, one more thing: You're the best president I've had in my lifetime, and you have 100 % of my support.'
"I still can't believe I talked to the President right in my living room."
A self-employed mechanic, Fred first took note of then-Senator Obama in 2004.
"It was when I heard him speak at the Convention—that's all it took. I've been following his career ever since then. Every time he's on, I listen. The man is so intelligent, and he's done so much for our country.
"Number one was Lilly Ledbetter—right off the bat! It's about time women start getting notice for what they're doing and getting paid equally. That was a monumental step, and it was his first step.
"And then the Affordable Care Act: I'm a diabetic, and I'm on my wife's insurance. If she were to lose her job, where would I get insurance? I wouldn't be able to, because of my pre-existing condition.
"You can keep going right down the line. The DREAM Act—I'm a first-generation American on my dad's side. He was born in Hungary, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen when his father brought the family here. So many of us in this country started as foreigners, and for people to not recognize these children who have gone through our schools, even served in our military, is ludicrous. So all those things are tremendous—nobody else had taken them on."
When asked what inspired him to make his first political contribution, Fred doesn't miss a beat—he says the stakes are just too high:
"We can't afford to let Mitt Romney become president. That's why I donated, and that would be my suggestion for other people: take a look at the way this country could go. We can't let that happen. As the old saying goes, 'Put your money where your mouth is.' I don't have a lot to give, but I gave what I was able to. In my lifetime, this is the most important election we're facing."
Join Fred—and 2.7 million donors across the country—by pitching in today.