On Saturday many people expected President Trump to be golfing. WRONG! Trump visits Walter Reed and presents an injured soldier with a Purple Heart medal. Trump was presenting the award to Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos who lost half of his leg in combat in Afghanistan.
According to the Associated Press, Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos was injured in action while in Afghanistan on March 17. The Purple Heart is awarded to any military or service person who is wounded or killed in combat.
“When I heard about this I wanted to do it myself,” Trump told Barrientos while at their brief ceremony. First Lady Melania Trump and Barrientos’ wife, Tammy, were also in attendance.
Trump Visits Walter Reed
The aware presentation coincided with Trump’s first visit to the Walter Reed Medical Center. This hospital is a frequent stop for presidents so they can spend time with wounded veterans. Trump also met with a dozen or so other wounded veterans, per reports.
President Trump used his presidential motorcade instead of Marine One. Typically presidents take Marine One when going to Walter Reed. Per the AP Trump opted for the motorcade to avoid disturbing tours that were going on at the White House.
There were many protesters in Washington for the “Earth Day” marches. While Trump was on his way to the hospital many of these same people lined up the street to protest Trump. Two birds with one stone, if you will.
Additionally, the president plans to hold a press conference on Thursday to talk about veterans’ issues, specifically. Just last week Trump signed a bill to expand the veterans’ health care options beyond the Veterans Administration system. This system has been jammed up with backlogs and long wait times.
While standing by Veterans Administration Secretary David Shulkin Trump said, “This bill will extend and improve the veterans’ choice program so that more veterans can see the doctor of their choice. You got it? The doctor of their choice. And don’t have to wait and travel long distances for VA care.”
It looks like Trump is delivering on his promises to put more focus on the care of veterans. It will be interesting to see what he unveils Thursday at his press conference that focuses on veterans’ issues.