The president believed that the sergeant’s extraordinary bravery required his personal involvement.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, personally awarded the Purple Heart to Army Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos, who was wounded March 17 in Afghanistan. according to The Associated Press.
Gab editor David Page reported the ceremony as “nothing flashy,” just “full of integrity.”
— David Kirkland (@DavidKirklandJr) April 22, 2017
“When I heard about this and I wanted to do it myself,” Trump said during a brief ceremony at his first visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington.
The president gave a hint of what he was about to do in one of his tweets Saturday.
Getting ready to visit Walter Reed Medical Center with Melania. Looking forward to seeing our bravest and greatest Americans!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
Because of his injuries, the sergeant’s right leg had been amputated below the knee and he was wheeled into a hospital atrium for the ceremony.
The AP reported:
Trump kissed Barrientos’ wife before pinning the medal on the sergeant’s left shirt collar, grasping Barrientos by the shoulders and then shaking his hand. The Purple Heart is awarded to service members who are wounded or killed in action.
Besides Barrientos, Trump was expected to meet privately with about a dozen service members who are receiving care at the medical center.
Rather than arriving by the White House Marine One helicopter, as presidents normally do when visiting Walter Reed, the president and his wife were driven to the military hospital.
Bloomberg White House correspondent Shannon Pettypiece reported:
Trump awards purple heart to Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos who injured in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/4fnLivwfmA
— Shannon Pettypiece (@spettypi) April 22, 2017
Fox News reported:
Trump presents Purple Heart to Army sergeant Alvaro Barrientos at Walter Reed Hospital
— Տᗩᑎᗪᖇᗩ ن (@SandraTXAS) April 23, 2017
Here’s a clip of the ceremony.
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