THE 10-year-old grandson of a war hero was refused entry to a tour of the White House because he was wearing a T-shirt and shorts.
Vernon Pawlik was wearing shorts and a memorial T-shirt with a picture of his grandfather when he was turned away for not being appropriately dressed for the VIP tour.
The Idaho family was due to take the tour Saturday, the day after the funeral for Vernon’s grandfather, Vernon Baker, at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mr Baker was the last surviving black Medal of Honor recipient from WWII and had died of brain cancer at age 90.
John Dunlap, who had helped organise the family’s once-in-a-lifetime tour, was outraged.
“Here’s a young man, 10 years old, and our government is like a complete fool turning him away,” he said. “No one told us about a dress code.”
The American Legion and the National Guard raised $22,000 to help the family attend the funeral at Arlington and is helping fix the roof of the family house and do other repairs.
White House spokesman Adam Abrams called the event “an unfortunate misunderstanding”.
“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 to communicate our deep regret and invite them back to the White House,” he said.