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D-Day vet declines Obama’s invitation to private photo op at the White House

George Ciampa
George Ciampa
Courtesy of NRO

Will this come as another shock to the president? It seems fairly obvious that the commander-in-chief expected his announcement in the Rose Garden that he had negotiated the release of an American POW to be another “I bagged bin Laden” moment. Instead of cheers and huzzahs, Obama’s swap of five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — whom his handlers neglected to vet — came off more as an "I set bin Laden and four of his fellow chieftains free in exchange for a deserter" moment.

The latest blow to the president’s towering ego came from one George Ciampa. John Fund describers Ciampa at National Review Online as “the most vibrant and spry 89-year-old I have ever met. In 1944, he landed in Normandy as a soldier assigned to the 84th Graves Registration Unit.”

Ciampa, Fund notes, is in Brix, France, for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Where he is not is equally germane to the story:

This week, George received a call from the White House, who said they knew he would be over in France during D-Day, and wondered if he would attend a private meeting the White House was arranging for veterans with President Obama.

George thought about it for awhile [sic] and concluded he just couldn’t. “I have so many issues with the president’s policies, including the most recent ones,” he told me ruefully. “I just couldn’t convince myself to do it.”

Ciampa “is not alone,” Fund writes, explaining:

The recent Bergdahl prisoner swap in which five hardened Taliban terrorists were released from prison is rubbing a lot of the military veterans attending D-Day events the wrong way. “It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”

And he has done so repeatedly throughout his presidency. When he needed to make a public show of closing down monuments in D.C. during the government shutdown in 2013, Obama shut out a group of Vietnam veterans who had planned a trip to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall. The snub, which was supposed to engender ill feelings toward the GOP, backfired. The vets stormed the barricades, which they nicknamed “Barrycades” in Obama’s dishonor.

Obama also received a less-than-enthusiastic response from future armed forces members when he delivered the commencement speech at West Point last week.

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