President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Delaware on Thursday evening to pay their respects to two U.S. soldiers who died in Afghanistan after a helicopter crash.
The first couple left the White House at 5:15 pm for an unscheduled departure on Marine One, and their destination was not initially disclosed. The president and first lady then arrived at Joint Base Andrews, where they boarded Air Force One and the press was informed that they would participate in a Dignified Transfer of the two fallen soldiers at Dover Air Force Base.
Trump and Melania met with the families of the fallen and paid their respects to the two late soldiers:
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Knadle, 33
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk Fuchigami Jr., 25
The two soldiers were killed in Afghanistan’s Logar province on Wednesday when their helicopter crashed while providing air support to ground troops. (RELATED: President Trump To Slice Afghanistan Troop Levels To Lowest In History)
Resolute Support, a U.S.-led NATO coalition, said that initial reports indicated that the crash was not the result of enemy fire, however, the Taliban claimed they shot down a helicopter in the Logar province Wednesday.
The Pres & First Lady now at Dover AFB to pay respects as the remains of two fallen soldiers return to US from Afghanistan where their helo crashed yesterday.
-Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, Tarrant, TX
-Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, Keaau, HI
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 21, 2019
The president stood in salute as the flag-draped transfer cases of the two fallen soldiers were carried to a transfer van, according to the White House travel pool.
“Who can speak for these families and what they are going through?” Voight told reporters. “I just wanted to pay my respects.”