Trump awards Purple Heart at military hospital

2017-04-23 08:00
President Donald Trump talks to Tammy Barrientos  before awarding a Purple Heart to US Army Sergeant Alvaro Barrientos as first lady Melania watches. (Alex Brandon, AP)

President Donald Trump talks to Tammy Barrientos before awarding a Purple Heart to US Army Sergeant Alvaro Barrientos as first lady Melania watches. (Alex Brandon, AP)

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Bethesda - President Donald Trump on Saturday awarded a Purple Heart to an Army sergeant recently wounded in Afghanistan.

"When I heard about this I wanted to do it myself," Trump said during a brief ceremony at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington. He awarded the medal to Sergeant 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos, who was wounded in Afghanistan on March 17.

It was Trump's first visit as president to the military hospital. He was joined by his wife Melania.

Barrientos, whose right leg below the knee had been amputated, was wheeled into a hospital atrium in a wheelchair, accompanied by his wife, Tammy.

Trump, who is also commander of the US military, kissed Barrientos' wife before pinning the medal on the sergeant's left shirt collar. The Purple Heart is awarded to service members who are wounded or killed in action.

Trump also met privately with about a dozen service members who are receiving care at the medical centre.

Before leaving the White House, the president tweeted that he looked forward to "seeing our bravest and greatest Americans."

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us
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