Trump has and always will be pro-military. Even though he is in his own personal hell with the impeachment proceedings and a fight against the Dems who never wanted him in office, to begin with, he continues to honor veterans. Recently, he has made several trips in order to honor fallen soldiers, and it isn’t going unnoticed.
The Democrats may be trying to get Trump out of the White House but that’s not going to stop him from slipping out of Washington in order to honor service members who have been killed in the line of duty. While it’s one of the most solemn tasks for the commander in chief, it is one that active duty and veteran members of the military appreciate the most.
Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to view the transfer cases draped in the American flag. Those cases hold the remains of two Army soldiers who were recently killed in Afghanistan. Trump was part of an official party including military dignitaries who marched up to the Boeing 747’s ramp and stood for a moment for the chaplain’s prayer.
Trump stood with his hand in salute as six Army soldiers in uniform, black berets, and white gloves carried the cases to a waiting van in a solemn process, known as a dignified transfer. It is a way of honoring military members in the US who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. While the military dignities looked straight ahead, the president glanced over periodically at the cases being carried. He remained expressionless throughout the process.
President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and the Deputy Secretary of Defense had met with the families earlier in the day. Those families belonged to David Knadle of Tarrant, Texas and Kirk T Fuchigami of Keaau, Kawaii, both of whom died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Those accompanying Trump aboard the presidential helicopter included general Mark Milley, Robert O’Brien, and actor Jon Voight, who had been presented with the National Middle of the Arts during a White House ceremony earlier in the afternoon. Voight described the transfer as being “respectful, so dignified.” He was not present to meet with the families of the soldiers. He identified to reporters later on that Trump had invited him if he wanted to, but he wanted to “pay my respects.”
Meanwhile, no Democrats were present at the military ceremony. Instead, they were focused on wrapping up their second week of Intelligence Committee public hearings regarding the impeachment inquiry. There will likely not be another week of public hearings.
According to a number of individuals within the Trump administration, the president has been through a full range of emotions as he alternates between dealing with the impeachment proceedings and continuing with his official duties.
The word “impeachment” was not mentioned by Trump during his time in Delaware. However, he did send off a variety of tweets prior to leaving the ground, mainly identifying to Democrats that “never in my wildest dreams” would he have ever guessed that he would be associated with the word ‘impeachment.’
This recent trip was the third made to Dover Air Force Base to witness such transfers. He had not announced his trip prior to a few minutes before leaving the White House. At least 19 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan during combat this year and more than 2400 since first arriving in 2001.
Trump has always been extremely respectful when visiting military operations and families. He has said that he is constantly surprised by how well families appear to deal with the deaths of their loved ones. He says they smile and think him for being here, though he watches how they break down when the cargo plane arrives. He said he has watched some instances where family members will scream and cry and breakthrough military barriers. On Thursday’s event, it was nearly silent. The families could not be heard.
Such an event is commonplace for Trump to attend as a way of paying his respects. However, the media is only allowed at a limited number of dignified transfers and only with the approval of the families.
As such, these are things Trump does not as a publicity stunt but because he values life and the loss of life, especially as he makes decisions regarding where US troops will be deployed, knowing that some troops will pay the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind family members who may silently or not so silently mourn the loss of their loved one.