Last night Soldiers from across the country descended upon the Nation’s Capital to attend a formal dinner at the White House entitled “A Nation’s Gratitude: Honoring those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.”
Hosted by the Commander-in-Chief and First Lady, a Nation’s Gratitude brought together dozens of Iraq Veterans, Gold Star Families and Veterans groups and their guests into the White House’s East Room.
The service members at the dinner mirrored a cross-section of the million-plus who served in Iraq over the past nine years. They represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and spanned generations, gender and all five branches of the U.S. military.
The White House dinner menu was a long way from the sleek tanned packages stamped “MRE” (Meals Ready-to-Eat) that was the staple cuisine of these Troops while serving in Iraq. During the dinner, guests dined on salad of heirloom tomatoes with baby mozzarella cheese with basil and balsamic vinaigrette, aged rib-eye steak with bearnaise sauce, yukon gold potato croquettes and chocolate creme brulee with brownie and mini-chocolate malteds.
While this was a formal dinner for the few, President Barack Obama noted selfless contributions of the many, saying, “…through the dust and the din and the fog of war, the glory of your service always shone through. In your noble example, we see the virtues and the values that sustain America, that keep this country great.”