When Purcellville businessman John Fuog suddenly received an invitation to participate in the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump less than three weeks before the ceremony, he had no idea he’d end up with one of the best ring-side views. Not only did he end up on Pennsylvania Avenue, but adjacent to the President’s reviewing stand.
It all started when he received the invitation from a member of the Presidential Inaugural Committee whom he did not know. “The PIC was looking for volunteers to assist in the events,’” Fuog told the Blue Ridge Leader. “I was very proud to be a volunteer, and it was a great opportunity.”
When Fuog responded to the invitation, he received a questionnaire from the U. S. Secret Service, and a request for a picture. Then just five days before the Inauguration, he received clearance, and was asked to report to the Commerce Department early on the morning of January 20. He found scores of other volunteers there, and Fuog wondered what kind of task he would be assigned to. It turned out he would be along 15th Street. Later, a supervisor put out a call for volunteers to “go to another location.” The supervisor didn’t say where, but Fuog and about five others were delighted to comply, and were directed to another federal building.
So, he was ready for the Inauguration, and was responsible for checking badges for seating and close-in standing at the Inauguration. He worked the entire day at Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street. “I met many military personnel, Secret Service officers, law enforcement officers from all over the nation. The highlight of my day was being just 30 feet away from the President and his family and Vice President Pence and his family,” Fuog said. “I was very proud to be a part of this momentous day.”