Meeting Gus
by Robert Straley

The Sealing of the White House Ceremony on October 21, 2008 was one of the most important
days of my life. The fact that there were only five of us saddened me as I thought of the
thousands of boys who had gone through that door and were brutally and unmercifully
whipped by men less than human.

When we parked and stepped out onto the ground facing the White House I remember Gus
Barreiro came up to me to shake my hand. I said "I want to thank you for this day, it means so
much to all of us," He replied "No, It is I who should be thanking you." That remark struck me
to my soul because I knew he meant it from his heart and was one of the few extraordinary
people I would ever meet who was in a position of power, and with a good and honest spirit,
truly stood up for the children in the institutions of Florida who could not stand or speak on
their own. Now the entire nation knows the story of the White House Boys and we all owe
Gus Barreiro much for putting his job on the line, for those children, now old, he never knew.