What It's Like Grabbing a Beer With SecDef Mattis: He's a Funny, Down to Earth, Vet With a WMD Knife Hand

| AUG 10, 2018 | 7:13 PM

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is known for cracking open a cold one with the boys, and this past weekend was no exception.

Mattis was back in his home state of Washington and visited his favorite bar, Bern's Tavern. Army veteran, William Petersen, who ran into Mattis a previous time, said they avoided talking politics.

“He's a Tri-Cities boy so we kept it local,” Petersen told IJR.

You could tell just my talking to him he was happy to be just hanging out. He said he doesn't get to go out for a beer in DC, they keep them all under pretty tight security. If you didn't know who he was and were having a beer with him, you would think he's just another funny, down to earth, local Tri-cities veteran...with a knife hand that is classified as a WMD.

According to Petersen, Mattis was enjoying a Rainier, “unlike last time [where] it was a PBR.”

Mattis also talked to the Housers. Christy Houser, another Army veteran, presented the Secretary of Defense with a challenge coin.

“Today is a special day,” Mike Houser said in a Facebook post. 

“Today, William contacted us to let us know that our Secretary of Defense, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis was at Bern’s,” Houser recalled. “Christy got the opportunity to give him a coin, a triple nickel she earned while deployed with 11th Chem in Iraq. He tried to decline it, but Mama Bear wasn’t having it. I am so happy his security detail got all these pictures with my phone. Absolutely amazing.”

Mike Houser/Facebook
Mike Houser/Facebook
Mike Houser/Facebook

“Our small town is very patriotic, and it's amazing how many people living here have had prior contact with General Mattis,” bar owner, Carla Dodgson, previously told IJR. “I can say that Sec. Mattis is a True Blue genuine officer and a gentleman. We are very honored to have had him visit. We look forward to seeing him again!”

While Mattis was in his home state, he also visited the Spudnut Shop, where they make doughnuts with potato flour, as pointed out by the Daily Caller.

Douglas Driver/Facebook

“[Mattis] did ask me about how my son was doing seeing how he remembered the note he wrote to him on a business card last time, I told him he's doing good and doing his pull ups like he said," Petersen added. "He then joked 'Good as long as [the note] didn't wind up lining a bird cage.'”

William Petersen

The note did not end up in a bird cage, as it is now a cherished item in the Petersen household.