I met the President during the holidays.
No, not Henrich, Obama! And, the First Lady, too.
My brother is active duty military and works for the White House Communications Agency. In his current position, he is invited to one of many White House socials and can invite a guest. This year, his big sister was his guest. I guess I could also say, best brother ever!
You see, my brother didn’t tell me I would meet the President. He just said, “look decent, get your hair and nails done, I’m taking you to a party.”
I didn’t even know the party was at the White House because as you line up to enter aa building’, the White House wasn’t visible, at least not to my 5’2″ self, but by the time I got to the fourth security checkpoint, I had a clue.
The first two checkpoints are ID checks, the third is a metal detector, and the last is bomb-sniffing dogs (as you stand in front of a fan blowing your scent toward the animal).
As demonstrated by recent White House incidents, invited guests don’t enter the White House from the front lawn; they enter through a heavily guarded maze.
I got to shake the President’s hand and got high fives from the First Lady. My brother told Mrs. Obama that I did not know beforehand that I was meeting them, so she said aHOW EXCITING!’ demonstrating the excitement that I felt, but could not exhibit at that moment, and we gave each other two high fives!
The moment was capped off with an official photo with the First Couple. This is a Christmas not soon forgotten.
Janice Smith is the Assistant to the Dean at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.