Natasha De Alencar returned home on April 12 after making t-shirts and pillowcases in her husband’s memory when the Army casualty assistance officer told her that President Donald Trump was on the phone for her.
De Alencar’s husband, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, had been killed during a firefight with Islamic State fighters in eastern Afghanistan on April 8, the Washington Post reported Thursday night.
He left behind five children, one of whom recorded the conversation with Trump.
Trump opened by saying he was sorry about the “whole situation” and called Mark De Alencar “an unbelievable hero.” Natasha De Alencar thanked Trump for the call and told him about her family. She noted that her oldest son, Deshaun, is playing college football at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. on an academic scholarship.
“At that moment when my world was upside down and me and my kids didn’t know which way we were going, it felt like I was talking to just another regular human,” De Alencar told the Post in an interview.
Trump invited De Alencar to come to the White House and said it was an honor to talk to her.
“Thank you, sir, and to you the same, okay. I really appreciate it, sir, and thank you,” De Alencar said.
De Alencar described the call to the Post as a bright moment during a period of darkness.
“It was a moment of niceness that we needed because we were going through hell,” she said.