16 Minutes with First Lady Michelle Obama! Part 4 – Final

MEETING #4 – 7 minutes 30 seconds

Alice and I were fortunate to ride from the Hillside community center event in the First Lady’s motorcade to the United States Olympic Committee’s Training Center.

Now, we were NOT in the First Lady’s car, we rode with Senator Michael Bennet another honor in itself.

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Mrs. Obama and I speak about a business issue.

I had not been in a fast moving motorcade since I represented the United States as track and field athlete in the CISM Games in Rome.

The motorcycles leap frog each other to stop traffic and clear the intersections.  It is a sight to see as well as awesome to be in.

Once at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) the special guest lined up in a receiving line to take photos with the First Lady.  Since I was emceeing the program I was asked to line up with Alice at the front to get our 2nd photo with her.

I was able to speak to her about a few business issues at this point and we chatted for about 2 minutes.

I then went to find a quiet place to review my notes for the opening ceremonies of the 3rd Annual Warrior Games Presented by @Deloitte.

As emcee I had the distinct honor of welcoming all the distinguished athletes from the Army, Marines, Navy, Coastguard, Air Force, Special Operations Command, and the British Military as well as three of four notable guests we had on stage. Mr. Scott Blackmun, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, Mr. Robin Lineberger, CEO Federal Government Services Deloitte, General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; and of course First Lady Michelle Obama.  General Dempsey had the honor of introducing the First Lady.

As I introduced the others on the program to speak I would take the seat of that speaker. I eventually found myself seated next to the First Lady.

She was fanning herself on the stage like she was in an old southern church. It was hot out there. Most people thought she was fanning the smoke out of her face from the lighted torch flame sitting a top one of the mangled beams from the World Trade Center that had not been extinguished, but in reality she was fanning a small bee that had infiltrated the Secret Services perimeter and no fly zone.

When the torch relay began down Olympic path she quickly moved to her cued space to great each of the athletes.

When she came back on stage I remembered what one of her aids had told me.  He said, “there are two water bottles under the podium.  The one of the far left is FLOTUS’.”

I leaned over to her and said, “First Lady, now they (your staff) told me that the bottle of water on the far left is yours.  Don’t try to get it twisted and drink from mine which is right next to it.”

She laughed, “Thanks, good looking out!” she said.

After her remarks, which concluded to the  warrior athletes with, “Now, really, I know you’re here to compete but you all be careful out there,” I heard General Dempsey say as I was walking back to up to the podium and passing Mrs. Obama as she was taking her seat, “that last comment had the mother instinct come out of you.”

I took those words and began my closing with them, “First Lady had the mother come out of her with those last words!  I began, “Now you all be careful out there!”  I gestured point my finger to the crowd.  They loved it. The laughter from the Warriors filled the Olympic / Paralympic pathway.  But I dared not look back at the First Lady because she might have been pointing her finger at me.  Someone later told me later that she was smiling too.  Whew!  I had just survived a “dig” on FLOTUS!

But her words reminded me of how important family is to the healing process of people who are going through change.  Families are concerned with the total recovery of their War fighter and they are concerned.

I related a story to the audience about how my wife Alice really stopped my negativity about my own injury and how she really moved my needle in a new direction.

After the First Lady heard those comments and at the conclusion of the ceremony she made a bee line to Alice to thank her for her service and sacrifice.  Now, that’s just cool!

So, there you have it.  As I stated from the beginning we have a First Lady who is classy, genuine, respectful, intelligent, and who cares her heart.

As I continue to use the words of sports caster Stuart Scott, “Mrs. Obama is cool like the other side of the pillow!”

That is our First Lady of the United States – Michelle Obama.

Thanks for reading!

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John beams as he escorts FLOTUS off the stage!