10 Times President Trump Honored the Military

US President Donald Trump (bottom L-back to camera) greets US troops after speaking during an event with US military personnel at Yokota Air Base at Fussa in Tokyo on November 5, 2017. Trump touched down in Japan on November 5, kicking off the first leg of a high-stakes Asia tour …
AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

President Trump has always shown a fondness for the military rank-and-file, often saluting the Marines who man Marine One, the presidential helicopter that transports him to and from the White House.

He also sounds at ease at White House events honoring the military, often ad-libbing and throwing in a joke or two, despite having prepared remarks.

A recent poll showed that members of the military overall like him, too. A recent poll published by the Associated Press showed that 56 percent of veterans surveyed said they approved of the job he was doing.

While the press has often criticized Trump for not caring about the military — based on the few events he missed, or his criticism of retired military leaders who have criticized him, they have usually ignored the times he has honored the military.

Here are ten times in 2018 Trump visited the troops:

1. Trump Visits Troops During Christmas in Iraq

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump took a surprise trip on Christmas day to visit U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. It was the president’s first trip to a combat zone to visit troops, and the first trip for a first lady to a combat zone in ten years.

Trump chatted, shook hands, and took selfies with troops, many whom seemed elated to meet him. Several asked him to sign their Make America Great Again hats, and one brought a Trump banner with her to meet him.

2. Trump Visits Arlington National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America

President Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery on December 15, 2018, to observe Wreaths Across America, where volunteers distribute Christmas wreaths at the tombstones of service members. He visited Section 60 — which is home to fallen Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.

3. Trump Spends Thanksgiving with the Coast Guard

President Trump spent this most recent Thanksgiving Day visiting with members of the Coast Guard at Station Lake Worth Inlet in Florida.

“If you were doing a brand, they would say this is one of the great brand increases,” he told them. “Nobody has gone up more than the Coast Guard.”

4. Trump Hosts Military Mothers and Spouses at White House

Trump hosted military mothers and spouses at the White House in May to recognize their service to the nation.

“Too often, military spouses do not receive the recognition they deserve,” he told them at a May 9 ceremony.

“You endure long separations during deployments, and some of them are much longer than you ever bargained for. You routinely move your families around the country and all over the world. You maintain morale in your family and across the military community. Your support is essential to making our military the mightiest fighting force in the world, and getting stronger all the time,” he told them.

“Your love, resilience, and courage uplifts our heroes and, indeed, our nation. We are forever in your debt,” he said.

5. Trump Hosts Wounded Warriors at the White House

Trump hosted several dozens of wounded warriors at the White House on April 26 to commemorate the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual Soldier Ride through the Washington area. It was Trump’s second time hosting them.

“Each of you is part of the long, unbroken chain of courageous Americans who have answered the call in every generation,” he told them, according to the Associated Press. “You are the proud, beating heart of our magnificent nation.”

6. Trump Visits Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed

Last Christmas holiday, Trump visited wounded warriors at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Trump told reporters he was going to “say hello to some of the bravest people anywhere in the world.”

“We’re just going to wish them a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year,” he told reporters. During the visit, he awarded his first presidential Purple Heart to an Army sergeant wounded in Afghanistan.

7. Trump Visits U.S. Veterans in Vietnam 

Trump marked Veterans Day in November 2017 with a visit with U.S. veterans in Vietnam.

“One of my great honors is to represent the people standing right behind me — great, great warriors and veterans of the Vietnam War,” he told them at a meeting at a hotel in Danang, Vietnam.

“To each of you with me today, you are the heroes who fulfilled your duty to our nation. And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well.”

8. Trump Visits Troops in South Korea

Trump also visited with more than 100 troops in South Korea in November 2017, who were stationed at Camp Humphreys.

He and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in had lunch with troops for Taco Tuesday at the base dining facility.

“He said he’d rather eat with the troops than at a fancy restaurant,” Pvt. Merion Holmes, 21, told Stars and Stripes after the president’s 20-minute appearance. “It made me feel like he cared.”

9. Trump Hosts Medal of Honor Recipients for Medal of Honor Day

In March 2017, Trump hosted two dozen Medal of Honor recipients and guests at the White House in honor of Medal or Honor Day.

“Your acts of valor inspire us and they show us that there is always someone on the night watch to ensure a bright sun rises on America each and every morning,” Trump told the crowd of 25 Medal of Honor recipients at an Oval Office ceremony, according to the Military Times.

10. Trump Visits Sailors on the USS Gerald R. Ford

Trump visited sailors and the newest aircraft carrier in March 2017, the USS Gerald R. Ford. According to the Navy Times, hundreds of sailors and yard workers waited in the ship’s hanger bay for hours to see the president speak.

Trump got cheers from the crowd when he promised to end the defense sequester and to give “our military the tools to prevent war and, if needed, to fight war and only do one thing — you know what that is? Win. We are going to start winning again.”

Fire Controlman 3rd Class James Meisch, 22, from Kingman, Arizona, told the Times, “This is a very joyous day for me as it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a president in person…I’m really thrilled and honored to have this opportunity.”

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