Tennessee teen, VP Biden form bond over struggle with stuttering

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Williamson County teen and Vice President Joe Biden have formed a bond over a struggle they both share: stuttering.

“This is one of the letters that he sent me,” Campbell Parker showed News 2.

Joe Biden, BGA student pen pal
Photo: WKRN

From his black folder, the Battle Ground Academy senior shares memorabilia of a relationship the two started more than 5 years ago, first connecting on Jackson Day in Tennessee.

Parker’s mom had contacted Biden’s staff explaining it would be great if the two connected, and since then the two have become pals.

“This is when he gave me a hug and said, ‘I hear we have something in common,’” he explained.

That common thread is a speech impediment.

“One thing he did tell me in the first encounter that always stuck in my head, is he told me that stuttering does not define you.”

Those words have inspired the senior to work harder to overcome his struggle.

Biden even showed him how to mark a speech up to help with his stutter.

Courtesy: Campbell Parker
Courtesy: Campbell Parker

Parker and the vice president have now met numerous times. He has toured the West wing, taken a ride in his limo, and the VP has even called the teen more than once.

“I’m blown away that he like just keeps wanting to get in touch with me,” Parker expressed.

While Parker has served as president of his class at BGA, he told News 2 he still doesn’t have any political ambitions.

However, Biden told him he has high hopes for his future.

“When I come to see you in the White House one day and someone says, Joe is here to see you, don’t say Joe who,” the teen recalls the VP telling him.

Courtesy: Campbell Parker
Courtesy: Campbell Parker

Parker is considering becoming a teacher, coach or maybe even a sports journalist.

Either way, he plans to lead as an example.

“I would love the opportunity to be someone to somebody in the future like the Vice President was to me.”

Parker has the Vice President’s phone number but has yet to call him.

He told News 2 Biden did offer to write a college recommendation letter for him, so he plans to reach out soon.

Parker’s friends hope the two’s friendship may lead to VP Biden speaking at BGA’s graduation this spring.

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