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Trump Awards Purple Heart To Wounded Soldier During First Visit To Walter Reed

April 24, 2017

On Saturday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Walter Reed Medical Center, where the president awarded the Purple Heart to a soldier who was wounded last month in Afghanistan.

Trump presented the medal to Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos during his first visit to the hospital as president.

“When I heard about this … I wanted to do it myself,” Trump said during a brief ceremony at the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. “Congratulations on behalf of Melania and myself and the entire nation. Tremendous.”

The Purple Heart is awarded to American service members who are wounded or killed in combat.

Barrientos was wounded in action on March 17 in Afghanistan. His right leg below the knee had to be amputated.

Before leaving the White House, Trump tweeted that he was getting ready to visit the hospital.

Trump also privately met with several other service members who are receiving care at Walter Reed.

Last week, Trump signed the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act to expand the “Veterans Choice” pilot program which allows veterans to seek care at private hospitals and doctors instead of their local VA clinics and hospitals.