Veteran’s Family Loses Chance at White House Tour — Over Child’s Clothing

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The White House is seen from the viewing platform of the Washington Monument

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via GettyImages

West-Wing fashion-faux pas number one: cover those bare knees.

The AP reports that the White House has issued a formal apology to the family of deceased Medal of Honor winner Vernon Baker. Baker’s clan was turned away from a tour of the president’s official residence, on the grounds that his 10-year-old grandson Vernon Pawlik’s clothing was questionable for the occasion.

Up until his death in July from brain cancer, Baker was the last surviving black Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. The wire service reports the family was in Washington for last Friday’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, and planned to attend a special tour of the West Wing the following day. But a White House staffer chose to suspend the invitation because he was uncertain about Pawlik’s dress — shorts and a T-shirt sporting a picture of his grandfather.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Baker family had not returned the AP’s requests for comment. But White House officials appeared to be blushing over the dress-code drama.

“This is an unfortunate misunderstanding,” White House spokesman Adam Abrams said. “We would have loved to have hosted 10-year-old Vernon and his family at the White House and we have reached out to the Baker family and Lt. Norris to communicate our deep regret and invite them back to the White House.”

NewsFeed wholeheartedly agrees — give the child a break, at the risk of reinventing the Northwestern women’s lacrosse great flip-flop flap of 2005.