CLINTON -- Even though the dinner at the White House is not until tonight, Master Sgt. Kevin Bullivant does not plan to have a lot of time today for sightseeing in Washington D.C.
"I have to get my uniform ready and looking nice and all that," he said
Bullivant, a member of the 151st Civil Engineering Squadron stationed at the Salt Lake Air National Guard Base and a resident of Clinton, will be among 77 service members invited to attend a White House dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and the first lady. The event will recognize the significant contributions of the men and women in uniform who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation New Dawn, and the families who supported them.
Bullivant, 33, an explosive ordinance disposal specialist, is the recipient of two Bronze Stars and has been submitted for a Purple Heart. Bullivant served in 2007-2008 in Iraq, and in 2011 in Afghanistan, where he was wounded.
Bullivant said a rifle round landed and detonated about 15 feet from him. During the explosion, he caught some small fragments in the forearm and lost some hearing.
"It happened so fast, all I could do was just react," Bullivant said. "I started looking for more wounds and was happy it wasn't more severe."
Service members who will attend the dinner come from across America; from diverse backgrounds and ranks; and from all services, including Guard and Reserve. Most remain on active duty.
Bullivant said, "I'm looking forward to just going and meeting all of the guys from different branches of the services, and those who made sacrifices during the time of war."