-- President Obama welcomed the nation’s oldest known veteran to the White House -– hosting the barrier-breaking 110-year Emma Didlake in the Oval Office Friday afternoon.
“We are so grateful that she is here with us today, and it’s a great reminder of not only the sacrifices that a greater generation made on our behalf but also the kind of trail blazing that our women veterans made, African American veterans who helped to integrate our Armed Services,” the president said. “We are very, very proud of them so that’s why we’ve got to make sure we do right by them.”
One of 15 children, Didlake was born in Boligee, Alabama in 1905 and later moved to Lynch, Kentucky with her family.
Didlake traveled around the world and was decorated for her service. Her decorations include the Women's Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.
In a recent newspaper interview, Didlake attributed her great health to eating fruits and vegetables and not much meat. Each evening she soaks nine golden raisins in a pint of gin and lets them sit overnight; she eats them the next afternoon.