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PHOTOS: Melania Trump on an aircraft carrier, with F-22, visiting troops

First Lady Melania Trump waves to service members and their families gathered in Hangar 789 Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to Langley Air Force Base, VA. (Andrea Hanks/White Houses)
December 14, 2018
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First Lady Melania Trump visited U.S. military personnel at two military bases and aboard an aircraft carrier ahead of the Christmas holiday.

On Wednesday, the First Lady met with troops and delivered brief speeches at Joint Base Langley–Eustis and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, and afterward took a tour aboard the USS George H.W. Bush carrier, Newsweek reported.

First Lady Melania Trump observes flight operations with U.S. Navy Capt. Chris Hill Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit with sailors aboard USS George H.W. Bush. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

Melania’s trip is also a historic moment, as she is the only First Lady ever to fly in a V-22 Osprey, according to CNN.

A video of the Osprey’s cockpit was visible in a twitter post with the caption, “We are off to visit some of our brave men & women in uniform today & thank them for their service. I’ll be visiting Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Joint Base Langley-Eustis & the #USSGeorgeHWBush aircraft carrier today. Looking forward to meeting everyone.”

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Her first stop was Langley-Eustis, where children from local schools were in attendance, along with military personnel from the 63rd Air Base Wing, 1st Fighter Wing, 192nd Wing and the 7th Transportation Brigade.

First Lady Melania Trump poses for photos with children of service members in Hangar 789 Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to Langley Air Force Base, VA. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

“I’m honored to be able to say welcome home and thank you for answering the call of duty,” she told the troops, many of whom had “recently turned home from deployment.”

First Lady Melania Trump greets children of service members in Hangar 789 Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to Langley Air Force Base, VA. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

“I have said this before, but it’s worth repeating,” she said. “We know that we are free because you are brave and I speak on behalf of my husband when I tell you we are forever grateful for your service.”

First Lady Melania Trump poses for photos with service members in Hangar 789 Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to Langley Air Force Base, VA. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

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She further expressed gratitude to the military families, acknowledging the struggles they endure while serving the country.

“We know that you often endure time apart, which also comes with a degree of uncertainty and some of you are here today while your loved ones are far away,” she said.

First Lady Melania Trump delivers remarks to service members and their families gathered in Hangar 789 Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to Langley Air Force Base, VA. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

“Frequent moves and deployments can be hard and that kind of lifestyle requires its own kind of incredible courage,” the First Lady added. “Please know that your sacrifices do not go unnoticed or unappreciated and that the president and I thank you for all that you do.”

While at the base, she was able to get an up-close look at an F-22 Raptor.

First Lady Melania Trump is given a tour of an F-22 Raptor by Air Force Col. Jason Hinds Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to Hangar 789 at Langley Air Force Base, VA. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

After the base visits, Melania went aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, although the media was not permitted on the tour.

First Lady Melania Trump, joined by U.S. Navy Capt. Chris Hill, interacts with sailors on the bridge of USS George H.W. Bush Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit to the aircraft carrier. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

Ahead of the trip, she said the tour would “not only allow me to visit with more members of our military, but it will be very meaningful after the recent passing of President Bush. We continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

First Lady Melania Trump, joined by U.S. Navy Capt. Chris Hill, visits with sailors in the mess deck Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit aboard USS George H.W. Bush. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

“An incredible flight today on a V-22 to visit the service members aboard the USS George H.W. Bush. Thank you to ALL who serve,” she said in an Instagram post after the visit.

First Lady Melania Trump, joined by U.S. Navy Capt. Chris Hill, receives a flight deck control briefing Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, during a holiday visit aboard USS George H.W. Bush. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

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