Our trip to the White House and Top Cops ceremony

On May 12th my husband and 6 other people from DEA were awarded a "Top Cop" award. Here's a small description of the case :

Case: The seven special agents are being honored for bringing a renowned terrorist to justice. This group of Special Agents planned a five year undercover operation to bring down Monzer Al Kassar, a man responsible for supplying the weapons that were used in the 1985 Achille Lauro high-jacking. The special agents infiltrated Kassar’s circle of associates by posing as representatives of the Colombian drug trafficking group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). As FARC members, they pretended to seek modern-day weapons. The team recorded hours of these negotiations. Kassar was then tricked into believing he was meeting with a high level FARC commander and was arrested in Spain on U.S. charges. In addition, two of his associates were arrested in Romania where they had traveled to receive what they believed was payment for weapons. On November 20, 2008, the US jury convicted these terrorists on multiple terrorism charges.

It's the first time anyone from DEA has ever been awarded a "Top Cops" award. A few weeks before the awards ceremony Nick called me to tell me it was a possibility that we would all be invited to the White House before the awards. I thought that was an awesome idea but I had my doubts about it actually happening . A week later Nick called to get social security numbers for the members of our family attending the awards ceremony. Hmmmm..... maybe this really is going to happen! I still had my doubts but it was an exciting possibility. Long story short, it happened. (Obviously) At first we were told that Joe Biden would be meeting with the award recipients. Then word leaked out that President Obama had an hour blocked out on his calendar for a Rose Garden ceremony with the Top Cops. To start the day, the award recipients and their families met at a hotel on Dupont Circle and were bused over to the White House. The award recipients were checked in first so that their weapons could be stored for them. They were taken to the Roosevelt Room where they met with Joe Biden and President Obama. Tiffani, Justin, Nick's parents and I hung out in the East Garden with the other family members where we were served drinks and were entertained by a military jazz combo.

Of course everybody was taking pictures like crazy. Including us. : )

At this point we had no idea if we would be invited to the Rose Garden Ceremony but, as it turned out, we were. It was amazing. There were cameras and press everywhere. We still didn't know exactly who we were waiting for, Obama and Biden or just Biden. Seated behind us in the Rose Garden was the wife of one of the award recipients and two little kids, a girl and a boy. When the recipients came out and stood behind the Presidential podium, the little girl said (very loudly), "Are they going to sing?" It was so cute. All of a sudden Justin said, "It's both of them. It's Obama and Biden!" He's a foot taller than I am; I couldn't see. I thought he was messing with me. I didn't believe him. Then I saw them. I wish I could explain how I felt right then. I literally had goosebumps over my entire body. We were so close to them. It wouldn't have mattered if it would have been McCain and Palin, it was awesome. I was quickly brought back to reality when the little girl behind us said, in the same loud voice, "It's Barack-O!" So cute.......

Sorry for the blurry picture but hey- it is proof!
My memory of the ceremony itself is mainly a blur. It was very inspiring, I remember that. I was a little distracted with the Secret Service and all the press. Awesome. It was awesome.

Vice-President Joe Biden giving his speech
President Obama giving his speech
Look how serious my husband looks. : )After the ceremony Joe Biden hung out with everyone for about 20 minutes. I actually got to shake his hand. He was so down to earth. He was taking pictures with people- anybody that asked him, he said yes. He was late to a meeting but he didn't care. (His detail kept reminding him that he was late but he still stayed with us.) He was so cute with the little kids, just like the grandpa he is.

After he left we were quickly escorted out of the Rose Garden. We were allowed to stay on the grounds of the White House for another 15 minutes to take pictures, then we were asked to leave.

Nick's parents in the East Garden
Nick & me
Tiffani & Justin
Walking away from the White House......
Some of the guys in front of the Warner Theatre sign

Hanging out waiting for the awards ceremony to start
The host, John Walsh
Pipe & Drum band- they were awesome!
The proud group- they were so happy!
Nick & me in front of the "Top Cops" screen

It was a fantastic day. The guys were so excited and we were so proud of them.




  1. So cool! I feel like I should congratulate you, too! Very cool.

  2. Wow! Congratulations to your husband! What an honor to be invited to the White House. You must be very proud of him!!! Great pictures....

  3. Fabulous! Those photos of the East Garden are beautiful and are making me homesick.

    What an honor. Sincerest congratulations to your husband.