Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day Surprises

Last night when Seth and I returned from dinner and errands, our building was swarming with black SUVs, police cars and Secret Service men. When we asked the people at the front desk what was going on, we learned that Vice President and Jill Biden were on the premises. Turns out they had brought a White House chef to cook dinner for the guys who are here without their families. What a great thing to do.

Today Seth got to miss appointments to go on a tour of the White House. We got on the buses around 10 a.m. and, after picking up some inpatients, we rode with a police escort to the White House. Pretty slick.

At the White House, we had a pretty typical tour, except that we got to see the President's dog Bo. The White House was also closed to other visitors, so our tour was fairly intimate.

At the end of the tour, we gathered for a group photograph. We were not allowed to bring our own cameras, so we were happy to at least have this opportunity for a memento. After the photos, we were told to remain in our places because a "bigwig" might be visiting. The photographer said, "When the person comes, he will stand there for a photograph."

So, about ten minutes later, "the person" arrived--President Obama joined us in the group photo and then shook everyone's hands and greeted us each individually. He was warm and gracious, and, I have to confess, I got a little teary. He is taller and thinner than I expected, and he has gotten so gray. Seth and I felt very honored to get to meet him. It was a special lead up to Veterans Day tomorrow.

Our only disappointment was that the President didn't give the guys coins, but we did get a box of special White House M&Ms.

We had the police escort on the way home as well. As the mom next to me said, "I could get used to this."

When we receive the photo, I will post it. Until then, you'll just have to take my word that we met the President.

Happy Veterans Day