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 is kissed by 94-year-old Carolina Garcia Delfin, a Filipina nurse who fought in the resistance against Japanese forces during World War II. The President mentioned her in his remarks to American and Philippine troops at Fort Bonifacio in Manila, Philippines, April 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
While we’re waiting for a resolution to all this madness, my most-loved photo(s) from 2012:
President Obama greets World War II veteran Archie Hackney, 90, of Newton, (Archie’s first greeting of a sitting president) after remarks at TPI Composites, a wind manufacturer in Newton, Iowa (May 2012)
Look how determined Archie was to stand, as a demonstration of his respect.
Greg Sargent: …. Today Obama will try to go on offense on what Dems hope will be a defining issue of the campaign: Taxes on the rich. He will announce in a Rose Garden speech that he wants Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts for those under $250,000.
Republicans are already bashing the move as a threatened tax hike on “small businesses.” (They said the same thing about proposed tax hikes on those over $1 million; they’ll make this claim no matter what the cutoff is.) But this is a fight the Obama camp wants. It goes directly to the way the Obama team hopes swing voters will perceive this election: As a battle over which side really has the middle class’s interests at heart.
Obama has said the single greatest obstacle to bipartisan compromise on how to move the country forward is the GOP refusal to entertain even a penny more in taxes from the rich, and has called on voters to break that “stalemate.” This move is designed to highlight the cause of this stalemate — to deepen this contrast with Republicans, by putting them in the position of opposing the middle class tax cut extension unless it’s paired with an extension of tax cuts for the rich, revealing whose interests the GOP is protecting.
Paul Krugman: Once upon a time a rich man named Romney ran for president. He could claim, with considerable justice, that his wealth was well-earned, that he had in fact done a lot to create good jobs for American workers. Nonetheless, the public understandably wanted to know both how he had grown so rich and what he had done with his wealth; he obliged by releasing extensive information about his financial history.
But that was 44 years ago. And the contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt — a contrast both in their business careers and in their willingness to come clean about their financial affairs — dramatically illustrates how America has changed.
Okay, now I feel like a ridiculous piece of crap for coming up with the pic above – LOL posted a link to the video of the exchange between Romney and this gay veteran …. I despised Romney before this, now, honestly, I have no words:
Once upon a time…… my Mom & Dad…… both born in TX, were Depression babies…
My Dad grew up on a farm outside a small Texas town with a funny name that didn’t even have a stop sign, and volunteered for duty during WWII as every young man of the time did. He shipped off to Italy, and while attempting to save a wounded friend at a very horrid battle where the Axis had stored some munitions in a church, my Dad’s friend stepped on a land mine.
My father woke up in a military hospital in North Africa with a gaggle of doctors standing over him. One Dr asked, “What’s your name soldier?” To which my father told them his name. All the doctors were surprised, and began talking amongst themselves for a bit. The Dr then asked my father, “What day is it?” My Dad thought, hmmm… I’m obviously wounded, so it’s probably been a couple of days, so he said, “Thursday, the 22nd.” The doctors were absolutely shocked by that response and began a rather heated exchange within their group, then finally the main Dr asked my father, “What month?” To which my father answered, “Oh shit.”
My father had had amnesia for almost a month. He was injured in February, and woke up in March, and had answered correctly because March mirrors February as long as it’s not a leap year.
He was sent stateside to recuperate in San Antonio at Fort Sam Houston.
My mother was from the big city of San Antonio. At 17, because all the men had all gone off and enlisted, went with her two older sisters, lied about her age and the three of them joined the WACs because that was where the boys were.
She met my Dad at a USO dance, while he was an out-patient from an Army psych unit because of the amnesia. So the crazy hick from the country married the Big City girl a month later, and my mother was found out to be a minor, and honorably discharged.
I was a very very late baby. My parents had given up, after my Down’s Syndrome brother died, and my mother suffered a miscarriage. They went to Reno one weekend and had WCMS* and POOF – a daughter.
My mother passed the day after Thanksgiving in 1999, with my father passing six months later from a broken heart.
They were both buried at Riverside National Cemetery with full military honors.
I never received my Condolence letter from President Clinton, and didn’t think to make the call until Bush Jr was in the White House. I told the person who answered the phone that I’d prefer Clinton’s signature since they passed during his Presidency, and was told that it would be the sitting POTUS. I said, “Never mind, I’ll wait.” I knew my parents would have been appalled by a Bush signature.
I waited eight years, and finally put in the request the week Obama took the oath. I told that story to four people since they kept transferring me, “I want you to tell your story to my superior, hang on….” I ended up with several copies for both my Mom & Dad. 🙂
I know my parents would be very proud I waited, and would be extremely proud of Obama.
Orlando Sentinel: A town hall meeting held in Orlando by U.S. Rep. Dan Webster degenerated into bedlam Tuesday, with members of the crowd shouting down the freshman Republican congressman and yelling at one another.
Webster tried to go over a series of charts showing growing levels of federal spending and debt, and the reason he supports the federal budget plan put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan. But he was interrupted at every turn by shouts from his critics, including members of progressive groups such as Moveon.org and Organize Now.
Boos and shouts of “liar” were mixed with angry accusations that Ryan’s plan to change Medicare would leave those now under 55 without health insurance in their retirement, calls to eliminate the tax cuts first put in place by former President Bush and the need to raise corporate taxes rather than cut entitlement programs.
When one man who said he was a veteran yelled that he wanted to know why Webster was cutting Medicare and veterans’ benefits, his answer came from the audience instead.
“We can’t afford it, you moron!” a red-faced man screamed.