Local vet meets President Obama

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Malibu WWII veteran Leon Cooper shakes hands with President Obama aboard the naval aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Nov. 11. Tamara Henry/Vanilla Fire Productions

Local World War II veteran Leon Cooper met President Obama aboard the USS Carl Vinson during a Veterans Day memorial celebration Nov. 11. Cooper was invited to sit in the VIP section on the aircraft carrier, which is the same ship that was taken on the expedition to bury Osama Bin Laden’s body at sea.

Cooper and President Obama shared a laugh when the vet said, “In the words of Shakespeare, ‘First, we get rid of all the Republicans,’”-a play on words from Shakespeare’s famed line “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

“I knew Obama would pick right up on my substitution of republicans for lawyers, being the bright, well-read guy he is, especially since he’s a lawyer himself,” Cooper said.

Cooper also appears in Ed Harris’ film “Return To Tarawa: The Leon Cooper Story,” now airing on the Discovery Network’s Military Channel.

Veterans Day event-goers were treated to a college basketball game between North Carolina and Michigan State on board, which North Carolina won.