President Barack Obama smiles with Emma Didlake, the oldest known World War II veteran at 110 years old, in the the Oval Office of the White House. Didlake was a Private during the course of her service and her decorations include the Women’s Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal
President Obama met with a 110-year-old woman believed to be the nation’s oldest veteran at the White House Friday. The president said it was a “great honor” to speak with Emma Didlake, a longtime Detroit resident and veteran of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II. “It’s a great reminder of not only the sacrifices that the greatest generation made on our behalf but also the kind of trailblazing that our women veterans made,” Mr. Obama told reporters. “We are so grateful that she is here with us today.”
Known to family as “Big Mama,” Didlake was a 38-year-old wife and mother of five when she “wanted to do something different” and signed up for the WAAC in 1943, said her granddaughter, Marilyn Horne. She served stateside for about seven months during the war, as a private and driver. After she was discharged, she and her family moved to Detroit in 1944 – and she quickly joined the local NAACP chapter. She marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, and received a lifetime achievement award two years ago from the chapter.
President Barack Obama speaks from the Oval Office on the shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, vowing to conduct a prompt and thorough probe of the shooting
President Barack Obama speaks after touring the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma. President Obama is the first sitting US President to visit a federal prison, in a push to reform one of the most expensive and crowded prison systems in the world
As part of a weeklong focus on inequities in the criminal justice system, President Barack Obama will meet separately Thursday with law enforcement officials and nonviolent drug offenders who are paying their debt to society at the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison for male offenders near Oklahoma City
Colleen Barry: Michelle Obama Meets US Troops In Italy; Recalls Charleston
Michelle Obama’s thoughts turned to those grieving for nine people killed in a U.S. church as she visited Friday with American soldiers and their families stationed in northern Italy. “We have seen too many tragedies like this,” Mrs. Obama said of the attack in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. “There is something particularly horrifying about something that happens so senseless in a house of worship.” She added: “I pray for a community that I know is in pain with the hope that tragedies like these will one day come to an end.” The U.S. first lady was visiting at the U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza, thanking hundreds of the troops and their families for their service.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday had expressed anger and sadness over the slayings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. “As my husband said yesterday, simply saying our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and community of Charleston does not convey the heartache,” Mrs. Obama said. Her time with the troops and their families included reading a book to children, and visiting with about 30 expectant mothers to discuss the challenges faced by military families overseas. The families live in an area that includes housing units and an elementary and middle school. She spent a good half hour giving hugs and shaking hands. Her daughters Malia and Sasha helped her scoop out ice cream. About 500 people were attending a barbecue on the middle school’s athletic fields.