White House Hosts “A Nation’s Gratitude Dinner”

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday will host a dinner for 78 US military personnel to express the nation’s gratitude to, and recognize the significant contributions of, the more than 1 million Americans who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation New Dawn in Iraq from March 2003 to December 2011. The dinner is also meant to honor the families that supported them. The invited service members represent the 50 states, District of Columbia, and US territories. They come from diverse backgrounds, ranks, and from all services, including the National Guard and Reserve, according to the Pentagon’s release. Among them—by our count—are 11 airmen, including CMSAF James Roy, who is representing Michigan. Also attending will be Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, the service Chiefs, and leaders of the National Guard and Reserve.