United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

'A Nation's Gratitude' White House hosts dinner to honor veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn

February 29, 2012
Alaska Northern Mariana Islands Hawaii American Samoa Guam Washington Oregon California Nevada Idaho Utah Arizona New Mexico Montana Wyoming Colorado North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Wisconsin Iowa Missouri Illinois Arkansas Louisiana Michigan Indiana Mississippi Alabama Tennessee Ohio Kentucky West Virginia Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Gorgia Florida Washington D.C. New Jersey Pennsylvania Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts New Hampshire Vermont Maine New York Maryland Delaware Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands

Alaska

Army Maj. Shannon Thompson

Army Maj. Shannon Thompson
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2010
Al Qaim, Talafar

Northern Mariana Islands

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Leslieanne Wilkinson

Marine Corps Staff Sgt.
Leslieanne Wilkinson

Regimental Combat Team 1
January 2008 – December 2008
Al Anbar

Hawaii

Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nelson A. Visaya

Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nelson A. Visaya
1st Infantry Division, Multinational Force West
Multiple Deployments, 2004-2009
Al Asad and Tikrit

American Samoa

Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Nikolao

Army Chief Warrant Officer 4
John Nikolao

101st Airborne Divison
Multiple deployments, 2003 - 2006
Mosul, Tikrit

Guam

Army Spc. Janice Hernandez Flores

Army Spc. Janice
Hernandez Flores

1175th Transportation Company
August 2004 – December 2005
Iraq

Washington

Navy Chief Petty Officer Bradley A. Vanhorn

Navy Chief Petty Officer
Bradley A. Vanhorn

Multinational Security Transition Command, Coalition Military Assistance Training Team
Multiple Deployments, 2006 - 2009
Au Numaniyah, Baghdad

Oregon

Army Sgt. Sarah Adams

Army Sgt. Sarah Adams
4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
January 2007 – September 2007
Kalsu

California

Army Maj. Eldridge R. Singleton

Army Maj. Eldridge R. Singleton
5th Special Forces Group, 101st Airborne Division
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2009
Al Kut, Baghdad, Sinjar and Other Locations

Nevada

Air Force Maj. Erik J. Jacobson

Air Force Maj. Erik J. Jacobson
Multinational Corps Iraq, MQ1-Launch and Recovery Element Public Affairs
Multiple Deployments, 2004 - 2009
Baghad, Balad

Navy Petty Officer  1st Class Anthony H. Bozarth

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony H. Bozarth
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2
Multiple Deployments, 2006 - 2007
Camp Ramadi, Combat Outpost Ocotol

Idaho

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt

Master Chief Petty Officer of the
Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt

Utah

Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin T. Bullivant

Air Force Master Sgt.
Kevin T. Bullivant

506th Air Expeditionary Group
November 2007 – May 2008
Kirkuk

Army Sgt. 1st Class Robbi A. Stanton

Army Sgt. 1st Class
Robbi A. Stanton

75th Ranger Regiment, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2006
Baghdad, Taji

Arizona

Army Capt. Brian Hartman

Army Capt. Brian Hartman
1st Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions
Multiple Deployments, 2004-2010
Baghdad, Diyala Province and Kirkuk

New Mexico

Army Master Sgt. Peter Martinez

Army Master Sgt. Peter Martinez
Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force
Multiple Deployments, 2004 – 2010
Baghdad, Mosul

Montana

Army Sgt. 1st Class Kyle B. Lyon

Army Sgt. 1st Class Kyle B. Lyon
82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2008
Baghdad, Fallujah, and Taji

Wyoming

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Rebekka Spanglerloch

Marine Corps Staff Sgt.
Rebekka Spanglerloch

1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2010
Iraq, Kuwait

Colorado

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Max R. Rohn

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class
Max R. Rohn

1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Multiple Deployments, 2007-2009
Al Anbar, Camp Rawah

Marine Corps Sgt. John-Mark Gladstone

Marine Corps Sgt. John-Mark Gladstone
1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Multiple Deployments 2007-2009
Al Anbar, Camp Rawah

North Dakota

Marine Corps Sgt. Richard Fiske

Marine Corps Sgt. Richard Fiske
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
Multiple Deployments, 2004-2009
Al Anbar

South Dakota

Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Christina E. Huntshorse-May

Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Christina E. Huntshorse-May
Marine Corps Logistics Command, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2006
Iraq, Kuwait

Nebraska

Army Sgt. Heather N. Wunderlich

Army Sgt. Heather N. Wunderlich
36th and 40th Combat Aviation Brigades
Multiple Deployments, 2006-2011
Balad and Kirkuk

Kansas

Army 1st Lt. Paul S. Gonzalez

Army 1st Lt. Paul S. Gonzalez
Task Force 1-9 Infantry
September 2006 – January 2008
Ramadi

Oklahoma

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Vaughn A. Ary

Marine Corps Maj. Gen.
Vaughn A. Ary

1st Marine Expeditionary Unit
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2004
Various Locations

Texas

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Terrylee Thompson

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Terrylee Thompson
Multinational Force Iraq
Six-month Deployment, 2006-2007
Camp Victory

Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kevin Purtee

Army Chief Warrant Officer 5
Kevin Purtee

36th Infantry Division, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade
August 2006 - July 2007
Balad

Minnesota

Army Maj. John Michael Tate

Army Maj. John Michael Tate
2nd Infantry Division
Multiple Deployments, 2004-2007
Al Anbar, Ramadi

Wisconsin

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cristian Bennett

Air Force Tech. Sgt.
Cristian Bennett

732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Detachment 6
December 2005-July 2006
Mosul

Iowa

Army Lt. Col. Beth Behn

Army Lt. Col. Beth Behn
17th Field Artillery Brigade; 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Multiple deployments
Baghdad, Basra and Diwaniyah

Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Lee Wandling

Army Staff Sgt.
Jesse Lee Wandling

12th Combat Aviation Brigade
Multiple Deployments, 2003 - 2008
Balad

Missouri

Air Force Master Sgt. Shane LaCaillade

Air Force Master Sgt.
Shane LaCaillade

Multinational Security Transition Command – Iraq
Multiple Deployments, 2007-2011
Kirkush, Qatar and Tallil

Marine Corps Maj. Jennifer S. Parker

Marine Corps Maj.
Jennifer S. Parker

1st Marine Division
August 2004 – March 2005
Al Anbar

Illinois

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Donnie Bolton

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Donnie Bolton
887th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron
Multiple Deployments, 2007-2009
Camp Bucca

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Tawanda M. Hanible

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Tawanda M. Hanible
1st Marine Expeditionary Force
January 2003 - June 2003
Iraq, Kuwait

Arkansas

Marine Corps Sgt. Joseph R. May

Marine Corps Sgt. Joseph R. May
2nd Force Service Support Group
February 2005 – February 2006
Camp Taqaddum

Louisiana

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj.
Bryan B. Battaglia

2nd Marine Division
Multiple Deployments 2004 – 2008
Various Locations

Michigan

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald T. Riling

Army Command Sgt. Maj.
Ronald T. Riling

1st and 4th Infantry Divisions
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2006
Baghdad, Ramadi

Air Force Master Sgt. Jessica R. Coombs

Air Force Master Sgt.
Jessica R. Coombs

40th Expeditionary Support Squadron
June 2011 – December 2011
Ali Air Base

Indiana

Army Master Sgt. Jorge H. Perez

Army Master Sgt. Jorge H. Perez
4th Infantry Division
Multiple Deployments, 2005 – 2009
Baghdad and Taji

Mississippi

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Harry Prassenos

Marine Corps Staff Sgt.
Harry Prassenos

Regional Combat Team 1, Antiterrorism Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2007
Baghdad, Diyala, Kuwait and Other Locations

Alabama

Army Staff Sgt. Shawon Tucker

Army Staff Sgt. Shawon Tucker
Food Services
Multiple Deployments, 2003 - 2007
Baghdad, Balaad

Tennessee

Marine Corps Master Sgt. Brian M. Blonder

Marine Corps Master Sgt.
Brian M. Blonder

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Force Recon Platoon
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2007
Various Locations

Ohio

Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dave Cooper

Army Chief Warrant Officer 5
Dave Cooper

Joint Special Operations Aviation Command
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2008
Various Locations

Kentucky

Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher J. Henderson

Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher J. Henderson
Helicopter Combat Squadron 4 with Combined Joint Special Operations, HSC-4 With Expeditionary Special Operations Group, HSC-84 With Combined Joint Special Operations
Multiple Deployments, 2004 - 2011
Baghdad, Balad

West Virginia

Army Maj. Carter L. Price

Army Maj. Carter L. Price
101st Airborne and 3rd Infantry Divisions
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2008
Various Locations

Virginia

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer William Castro

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer William Castro
Patrol Forces Southwest Asia
June 2009 – July 2010
Various Locations

Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle L. Taylor

Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle L. Taylor
2nd Marine Logistics Group
January 2009 – November 2009
Al Taqadumm

North Carolina

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jay Ho Choi

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
Jay Ho Choi

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2
2006 Six-month Deployment
Arabian Gulf

South Carolina

Marine Corps Sgt. Nytayia D. Jamison

Marine Corps Sgt.
Nytayia D. Jamison

Combat Logistics Battalion 6
February 2008 – September 2008
Al Asad Air Base

Georgia

Air Force Staff Sgt. J H. Smith

Air Force Staff Sgt. J H. Smith
Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component
Multiple Deployments, 2007-2011
Balad Air Base

Army Cpl. Clara Surita

Army Cpl. Clara Surita
Multinational Force Iraq
October 2009 – July 2010
Mosul

Florida

Navy Master Chief Petty Officer  Richard D. Lamoureux

Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Richard D. Lamoureux
SEAL Naval Special Warfare Development
Multiple Deployments, Various Locations

Washington D.C.

Army Capt. Yolanda O. Lee

Army Capt. Yolanda O. Lee
42nd Infantry Division
August 2004 – December 2006
Tikrit

New Jersey

Navy Rear Adm. Frank Morneau

Navy Rear Adm. Frank Morneau
Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Forces Iraq
July 2009 - July 2010
Baghdad

Pennsylvania

Navy Lt. Benjamin J. Kostka

Navy Lt. Benjamin J. Kostka
Multinational Force West Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 2, Multinational Force West and Multinational Division South, Riverine Squadron 2
Multiple Deployments, 2007 - 2009; Iraq

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Lawrence Benson

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Lawrence Benson
5th and 20th Army Special Forces Groups
Multiple Deployments, 2002-2005
Balad, Mosul

Connecticut

Army Master Sgt. William Tomlin

Army Master Sgt. William Tomlin
82nd Airborne Division, Asymmetric Warfare Group
Multiple Deployments, 2004 – 2010
Al Anbar, Baghdad and Balad

Rhode Island

Army Sgt. Joshua R. Labbe
10th Mountain Division
August 2007 - October 2008
Hawija

Massachusetts

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Deverson Lochard

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Deverson Lochard
4th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Regiment
Multiple Deployments, 2003 – 2004
Ad Diwaniyah, Ramadi

Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Piirainen

Air Force Staff Sgt.
Andrew Piirainen

Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Multiple Deployments, 2007 - 2011
Baghdad, Kirkuk

New Hampshire

Army Staff Sgt. Anthony J. Ranfos

Army Staff Sgt. Anthony J. Ranfos
4th Infantry Division
Multiple Deployments, 2005-2009
Baghdad

Marine Corps Capt. Stephen M. McNeil

Marine Corps Capt.
Stephen M. McNeil

7th Marine Regiment
January 2007 – August 2007
Fallujah

Vermont

Army Col. Peter Newell

Army Col. Peter Newell
1st Armored and 1st Infantry Divisions
Multiple Deployments, 2004-2010
Diyala, Fallujah, Najaf and Nasiriyah

Maine

Army Staff Sgt. Benjamin N. Straubel

Army Staff Sgt.
Benjamin N. Straubel

28th Infantry Division
April 2005 – July 2006
Ramadi

Marine Corps Col. Todd Scott Desgrosseilliers

Marine Corps Col.
Todd Scott Desgrosseilliers

2nd Marine Division
Multiple Deployments, 2004-2007
Fallujah, Ramadi

Air Force Master Sgt. Jeremy G. Coombs

Air Force Master Sgt.
Jeremy G. Coombs

532nd Expeditionary Ops Support Squadron
April 2010 – October 2010
Al Asad Ab

New York

Marine Corps Col. Stephanie C. Smith

Marine Corps Col.
Stephanie C. Smith

1st Marine Expeditionary Force
February 2004 – September 2004
Fallujah

Maryland

Marine Corps Maj. Brian E. Wobensmith

Marine Corps Maj. Brian E. Wobensmith
Multinational Security Transition Command – Iraq
April 2009 – October 2009
Baghdad

Delaware

Army Sgt. 1st Class Sebastian K. Ellis

Army Sgt. 1st Class
Sebastian K. Ellis

3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division
Multiple Deployments, 2003-2010
Anbar, Baghdad and Tal Afar

Puerto Rico

Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Cruz

Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Cruz
Supply and Logistics Unit
January 2004 – February 2005
Abu Ghraib

U.S. Virgin Islands

Army Sgt. 1st Class James Gaston, Sr.

Army Sgt. 1st Class
James Gaston, Sr.

Multinational Force - Iraq, United States Forces - Iraq, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Iraq
Multiple Deployments, 2004 - 2011
Al - Asad, Bagram, Balad, Kuwait

Thanking Iraq War Veterans

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the nation’s top defense leaders honored 78 service members - active duty, National Guard and Reserve - for their service in Iraq with a White House dinner on Feb. 29, 2012. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, and the joint chiefs will be on hand to express the nation’s gratitude to the men and women who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

Top Stories

Pentagon Leaders Join White House in Honoring Iraq War Vets

The Pentagon’s top leaders joined President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in paying tribute to Iraq War veterans and their families during a White House dinner held in their honor. Story

Obama, Biden Celebrate Military’s Virtues

President Barack Obama honored troops for their devotion, strength and resolve while Vice President Joe Biden praised the “9/11 Generation” during a tribute to Iraq War veterans and their families. Story

White House Pays Tribute to Iraq War Veterans, Families

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a White House tribute to Iraq War veterans and their families to honor them for their service, sacrifice and commitment to the nation. Story

Iraq Vets Share Experiences Before White House Dinner

More than 60 Iraq War veterans gathered at a reception, sharing their memories as they prepared to receive the nation's thanks for their service at a White House dinner in their honor. Story | Guest List

Family Matters Blog: Gold Star Wife to Join White House Dinner

A Gold Star wife will be among the guests attending a dinner to honor Iraq war veterans and their families at the White House. Story

Photos

Photo Essays
More Photos

Video