At 3pm yesterday afternoon, Twitter was abuzz with Washington reporters, wondering why President Trump was boarding the official Marine One chopper. Where were he and his daughter Ivanka going? Why hadn’t they, the oh-so-important White House media pool, been informed of this unscheduled departure?
They and the rest of America soon learned the truth: The commander in chief was headed to Dover Air Base in nearby Delaware to honor the returning remains of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in a weekend raid on terrorist leaders in Yemen.
(Maybe the reporters were so surprised because, for the past eight years, Barack Obama hadn’t made many similarly somber journeys, and when he did, he somehow always managed to make it about himself rather than the service members who had make the ultimate sacrifice…)
Julie Pace, the AP White House correspondent, has the story:
Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, a 36-year-old from Peoria, Illinois, was the first known U.S. combat casualty since Trump took office less than two weeks ago. More than half a dozen militant suspects were also killed in the raid on an al-Qaida compound and three other U.S. service members were wounded. (…)
The president met with Owens’ family during a two-hour visit to the base. The sailor’s family had requested that Trump’s visit and the return of Owens’ remains be private. (…)
Owens joined the Navy in 1998 and was the recipient of two Bronze stars, a Joint Service Commendation and an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, among other honors. In a statement following his death, the Navy Special Command called Owens a “devoted father, a true professional and a wonderful husband.”
One recipe for success advises strivers to look at what losers do, then do the exact opposite. This seems to be Trump’s agenda: To spend his first days in the Oval Office, and beyond, making it unmistakably clear that his presidency will be the antithesis of Barack Obama’s.
Where Obama honored dubious military “heroes” in Rose Garden ceremonies, he pointedly ignored real ones, like the American servicemen who stopped a terror attack on a French train. Watch for Donald Trump, on the other hand, to make it very clear who America’s true heroes really are, but at the same time, drawing attention to them and not himself.