WASHINGTON (AP) — Richard Nixon threw a huge gala for former Vietnam POWs. Harry Truman cheered at multiple parades honoring World War II veterans. Andrew Johnson presided over a two-day review of Union troops at end of the Civil War.
Now President Barack Obama is honoring the more than 1 million American troops who served in Iraq by welcoming a small cross-section to a formal dinner at the White House on Wednesday. The dinner for 200 people will include service members from all 50 states and from U.S. territories.
Some of them are in their 20s, some in their 50s. One served just months in Iraq; one deployed six times. Some left the military with life-altering wounds; most still serve.
A widow will represent the families of the nearly 4,500 Americans who died.