Obama Visits Dover to Honor War Dead

Prez makes midnight trip to base as 18 bodies arrive
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2009 5:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama made a surprise visit to Dover Air Force Base before dawn today to honor fallen American service members. The president arrived at the base shortly after a transport plane carrying 18 bodies landed. Obama and other officials boarded the plane and stood by as a chaplain prayed over each flag-draped casket before it was carried out, AP reports.

The 15 soldiers and three DEA agents arriving at Dover were among the 53 Americans killed so far this month in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest month of the 8-year-conflict for US forces. Obama, who met with family members of the dead before the ceremony, is still holding meetings to review the direction of Afghanistan strategy. A final decision can be expected within weeks, according to a White House officials.