The day I met the president

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shela Martinez
  • 4th Fighter Wing
Over the Independence Day weekend, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the White House in Washington. It was an amazing experience that I will remember the rest of my life.

Everything was perfect, down to the smallest details. It was a surreal feeling knowing we were where the President of the United States lives.

When we first arrived, the White House lawn was adorned in true patriotic fashion. Red, white and blue decorations were visible in every direction.

After taking in all of the beauty, ushers escorted us to enjoy a meal that was prepared especially for military families. The food tasted wonderful. We indulged ourselves on burgers, fresh fruit, potato salad, corn on the cob and other treats traditional to a 4th of July celebration.

The atmosphere of the event was very upbeat. A live band was playing for our entertainment, photo booths were set up that printed out instant photographs, and kids activities, games and face painting were also available. At one point, Malia Obama came out on the balcony and I was able to snap a quick picture!

About an hour after arriving and participating in all of the festivities, President Obama and the first lady came out to greet us. He gave a heart-warming speech letting us know how appreciative he was of our military. He told an inspiring story about a U.S. Army Sgt. who stayed with her battle buddy after she was injured during a deployment and ended up being shot twice.

When the President concluded his speech he came down to meet some of the attendees of the event. Even though it was crowded and everyone was rushing to meet him, my husband and I still got the opportunity to shake his hands and take some photos. He even thanked us personally for our service.

It was an amazing moment because I wasn't expecting to shake his hand. Afterwards, I had this big grin on my face and I thanked him for being our President. My husband was also shocked and couldn't stop smiling. We both felt so special because not many people can say they got to shake the hand of the President of the United States.

After the President departed the event, it was far from over. The band, Fun. performed live and we got to watch a spectacular display of fireworks that lit up the night skies at our nation's capital.

I am so appreciative that my husband and I were able to experience this event. It was so amazing to meet our commander in chief and experience patriotism at its finest.