MESQUITE, TX (CNN) — A stranger probably sees the wheelchair first, but anyone who meets John Cohen sees past it, fast.
"What he lacks in physical ability, he compensates using his mind and anything else he can use," said Sgt. Greg TubbsHorn, the JROTC Instructor at Horn High School.
John is in the Junior ROTC at Mesquite's Horn High School. He was born with spinal muscular atrophy. At 18, he has the muscle strength of a six month old, with the heart of a soldier.
"People with disabilities and veterans who can still mentally serve, should serve, not just as a civilian but as a real soldier," said John Cohen.
On spring break, he took that proposal to the top.
"The door opened and there he was. He talked to us for a minute and then we walked into the Oval Office," Cohen explained.
John met President Obama.
"It started out with I'm very proud of you - I was like aww thanks," Cohen said.
The 10 minute meeting was John's Make-A-Wish request. Not because it would be cool to meet the commander in chief, he did it to share his vision. He’d like America to create a corps for people with disabilities who want to be in the military. And he sees the potential for more.
"As technology gets bigger and bigger, eventually we'll be in a cyber war, and not a weapon war."
"One day there'll be something you can think about and make it move -- at that time, John could be in it."
The president listened and john says, seemed to like what he heard, from a young patriot willing to serve, hoping he can.