Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inside the White House

I did not get to attend Leroy's ceremony at the White House, but plenty of my family members did. Here's some of the highlights from their meet-and-greet with the president and vice president.

• My family was standing in a line when vice president Joe Biden entered. He went down the line of family members to shake hands and introduce himself. My 80-year-old grandma shook his hand, but didn't realize who he was. She thought he was my uncle Larry's friend. Right after the handshake, it clicked for my grandma, and she reached for the vice president's hand before he could move on to the next family member. "Oh, I know who you are, now," she said. He laughed and gave my grandma a hug. After the ceremony, he signed his seat placard and gave it to my grandma so that she could always remember him.
• When my grandma met President Obama, she started the conversation by exclaiming, "I already know who you are!" The president laughed and gave my grandma a big hug.
• When my cousin Lloyd Petry (Leroy's brother) met Biden, he said. "Mr. vice president, I've been quoting you since I found out my brother won this award." Biden replied, "Oh, yeah, what have you been saying?" "It's a big deal," Lloyd said. He didn't use a certain word inside the White House, but it got the message across. Everyone got a laugh from that one.
• After meeting my family, Biden asked if anyone had any questions for him. Lloyd asked Biden what the Medal of Honor meant to him. His answer impressed my family. Later, my uncle Larry (Leroy's dad) said, "He didn't have much time to think of a response, but what he said was right on. He gets it."

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