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After Rally, Trump Pays Respects to 2 Fallen Soldiers

Spokesman says Trump wrapped up NH rally early to travel to Dover base
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2020 12:21 AM CST
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A US Army carry team salutes after moving a transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez, of San Antonio, Texas, and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rodriguez, of Las Cruces, NM, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – President Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday night to pay respects to two US soldiers killed Saturday in Afghanistan when a soldier dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire with a machine gun. The Defense Department identified the dead American soldiers as Sgt. Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28; and Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28. Six other American soldiers were wounded in the attack. Trump saluted and Vice President Mike Pence placed his hand over his heart as transfer cases containing the remains were carried out of a plane and transferred to a transport vehicle, the AP reports.

As Trump and Pence stood on the tarmac in a falling mist, a woman among the mourners struggled to reach the plane's ramp, pulling her companions with her as they tried to hold her back. She wailed as the doors on the transfer vehicle closed. National security adviser Robert O'Brien told reporters traveling with Trump on Air Force One that the president wrapped up a campaign rally in New Hampshire a bit early so he could visit with the families of the soldiers. O'Brien described such moments as "probably the toughest thing he does as president," along with visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "It’s tough for the president but he thinks it’s important to be there for the families and recognize them," O'Brien said.

(Read more Afghanistan war stories.)

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