President Trump prior to being elected had said he would make veterans a priority. Trump promised to improve the Veterans Administration and improve the healthcare services for those who have served our country. Last week Trump took the first step towards doing just that.
President Trump also made a personal visit to the Walter Reed Hospital to award the Purple Heart to an injured soldier. He said, he personally wanted to give the award to the Army sergeant who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan. President Trump is not just about “talking” about respect, he’s personally showing respect to our military and soldiers.
H/T Western Journalism:
President Donald Trump personally awarded a Purple Heart Saturday to an Army sergeant who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan.
“When I heard about this and I wanted to do it myself,” Trump said during a brief ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Earlier in the day, Trump had tweeted that he was going to Walter Reed.
Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos, who was wounded in Afghanistan on March 17, was accompanied by his wife, Tammy. Barrientos was injured when when an Afghan soldier opened fire inside a base in Helmand province. Three soldiers were wounded in the attack.
Trump gave Barrientos’ wife a kiss and then pinned the medal on the sergeant’s left shirt collar, later shaking hands with Barrientos.
What is the Purple Heart?
The Purple Heart is awarded to service members of the U.S. in the name of the President, who are wounded or killed in action. It is specifically a combat decoration. It’s the oldest military award still given. The Purple Heart exhibits a bust and profile of George Washington, and was originally issued on the bicentennial of Washington’s birthday.
During the early period of American involvement in World War II the Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty. During World War II, nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the estimated casualties. Currently, total combined American military casualties of the seventy years following the end of World War II—including the Korean and Vietnam Wars—have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there remained 120,000 Purple Heart medals in stock. The existing surplus allowed combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to soldiers wounded in the field. Purple Hearts estimated over the years for wars were the following:
- World War I: 320,518
- World War II: 1,076,245
- Korean War: 118,650
- Vietnam War: 351,794
- Persian Gulf War: 607
- Afghanistan War: 7,027 (as of June 5, 2010)
- Iraq War: 35,321 (as of June 5, 2010)
The Purple Heart is different from most other decorations. A person receiving the Purple Heart is “entitled” to it after meeting specific criteria. The Purple Heart is awarded for the first wound suffered under certain conditions. Enemy-related injuries which justify the award of the Purple Heart include: injury caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile created by enemy action; injury caused by enemy placed land mine, naval mine, or trap; injury caused by enemy released chemical, biological, or nuclear agent; injury caused by vehicle or aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire; and, concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions.
Veterans and President Trump
Speaking of Veterans, President Trump made them his priority on the campaign trail. He promised to provide them with better care by saying he would overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and improve veterans’ access to health care. Veterans under Obama were not treated well, and Trump wanted to ensure our soldiers were treated with the utmost respect they deserve after serving our country.
Last week President Trump signed a bill to expand veteran’s health care options beyond the Veterans Administration system, which has been mired in backlogs and long wait times.
Visiting veterans and handing out medals of war, like the Purple Heart to soldiers who have served our country is a definite improvement over the last president. Add to that the fact that veterans can now see a doctor of THEIR choice and you’ve got progress towards improved services and healthcare. Sounds to me like another promise made, another promise kept.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos. We wish you and all the soldiers at Walter Reed a speedy recovery. We are grateful for your service to our country. God Bless you and all those who serve to protect the freedoms we so often take for granted. Freedom is never free.
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