President Donald Trump ended his Monday rally in New Hampshire early to attend the dignified transfer ceremony for two servicemen killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.
The ceremony commemorated U.S. Army SFC Antonio Rodriguez and U.S. Army Javier Gutierrez and was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, marking the first time both the president and vice president have attended a dignified transfer ceremony since 2009. (RELATED: US Forces Eliminate Leader Of al-Qaida In Arabian Peninsula)
POTUS and VPOTUS touched down at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware just before 10:00 pm ET, where they met the families of the fallen servicemen. According to the White House pool, one of the family members briefly removed herself from the group and wept prior to being gathered and consoled by another family member.
Flag-draped caskets carrying Rodriguez and Gutierrez were carried by six “white-gloved” members of the U.S. Army carry team from the C-17 to the transfer vehicles, as Trump and Pence stood and saluted the “fallen heroes.” Two separate prayers preceded the transfer of both caskets. (RELATED: Lt. Col. Davis: Trump Needs To Pull Our Troops Out Of Middle East After Iran Strike)
“These were fallen heroes and we were close by and the president wrapped his rally early so he could come,” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told reporters on Air Force One Monday evening.
O’Brien, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz all also attended the ceremony.