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Taking advantage of a rare weekend in Washington D.C., President Donald Trump traveled to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday and awarded a Purple Heart to a soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan.
And it got a little awkward when Trump congratulated Army Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos for earning the honor. As Mediaite writes, “it’s not appropriate to ‘congratulate’ a recipient of this type of award for almost getting killed.”
Said Trump before he pinned the Purple Heart, given to those who are wounded or killed in the line of duty, on Barrientos’s shirt, “I heard about this and I wanted to do it myself. Congratulations on behalf of Melania, myself, and the entire nation. Tremendous job.”
Here’s the video in which you can see Barrientos’s eyes blink when Trump says, “Congratulations,” though he also appears to thank Trump for the well wishes. Trump also kisses Barrientos’s wife on two occasions during the brief ceremony. Somehow, things appear to get even more awkward during the photo opp.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 22, 2017
Trump, who received five deferments from the Vietnam War, also has a Purple Heart. Except his was given to him by a Virginia resident and Trump supporter during the presidential campaign. That was when Trump famously said, “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart—this was much easier.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.