Trump awards Purple Heart to soldier in first visit to military hospital

President inspects Walter Reed National Medical Center and bestows medal to Sgt 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos, who lost his right leg from a March attack in Afghanistan

Donald Trump on Saturday awarded a Purple heart to a US army sergeant wounded in Afghanistan, during a inspect to a military hospital near the capital.

The honour was submitted to the Sgt First Class Alvaro Barrientos, who was wounded on 17 March when an Afghan soldier opened fire at a base in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Barrientoss right leg was amputated below the knee. Two other US soldiers were wounded in the two attacks.

Barrientos entered the atrium designated for the fulfill in a wheelchair, be complemented by his wife, whom Trump kissed on the cheek before pinning the honour on the sergeants-at-law left shirt collar.

When I heard about this and I wanted to do it myself, Trump told Barrientos during the brief ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Congratulations, tremendous.

Trumps visit to the hospital, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, was not are available on the presidents public schedule before Saturday morning, when he announces that it with a tweet: Appearing forward to seeing our bravest and greatest Americans!

The decision to allow cameras into the medal ceremony compares with the course of carrying out former chairperson Barack Obama, who awarded Purple heart awards during regular visits to Walter Reed but did so behind closed doors.

Besides Barrientos, Trump was expected to meet privately with about a dozen service members who are receiving care at the medical center.

The Purple heart is awarded to service members who are wounded or killed in action. While on the campaign trail in August, Trump received a Purple heart from an Iraq war ex-serviceman. The then candidate accepted it, supposing: Thats like big stuff. I ever wanted to get the Purple heart. This was much easier.

The veteran who committed him the honour said it was real and he craved the president to keep it. Trump received five deferments from service in the Vietnam war, four for college attending and one for bone spurs in one of his feet.

The visit to Walter Reed was Trumps firstly. In February, he went to Dover air force base in Delaware to honor William Ryan Owens, a Navy Seal killed during a raid in Yemen, which the president be permitted in belatedly January. His widow, Carryn Owens, attended the presidents February address to Congress at his invitation, and sat in the first ladys carton next to the Trumps daughter, Ivanka.

Amidst controversy over the raid, which Trump approved not long after becoming chairperson and in which a young girl with US citizenship was among civilians killed, Owens father told the Miami Herald he had refused to meet the president. My conscience wouldnt let me talk to him, he said.

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