By now the mainstream media has made sure you heard that during his Asia tour this week, President Donald Trump supposedly committed a couple of embarrassing gaffes (which even the left-wing Slate admits didn’t actually happen). But here’s a highlight about the trip you may not hear on the nightly news.
Stars and Stripes reports that instead of some lavish meal with a bunch of dignitaries and bureaucrats, on Tuesday Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in opted to share a meal with 108 military servicemembers, mostly American but including 20 South Koreans, for Taco Tuesday at Camp Humphreys.
Despite being given the option for something nicer, while there the commander in chief opted to eat whatever the troops were having: tacos, a burrito, and curly fries.
Here’s a brief video of Trump speaking to the troops who joined him:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2017
From Stars and Stripes’ report, it sounds like the gesture went deeply appreciated by America’s fighting men and women:
Pvt. Merion Holmes, 21, of Georgetown, S.C., said he was honored to see the president in person and found Trump’s words motivating.
“He said he’d rather eat with the troops than at a fancy restaurant,” Holmes told Stars and Stripes after the president’s 20-minute appearance. “It made me feel like he cared” […]
Marine Sgt. Cortney Wells, 25, of Villa Ridge, Mo., said she was humbled to have been chosen to sit near Trump. She noted that the two presidents talked to each other about relations between their countries and other issues.
“With everything going on I know people at home are concerned. I think it’s great, especially for the alliance, that both presidents are going to be here together,” she said […’
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Banegura, manager of Provider Grill as the dining facility is known, said he gave Trump’s team other choices but was told the president would eat the same thing as the troops […]
Seaman William Carlisle, 25, of Pickerington, Ohio, said he was excited to sit across from the president.
“To actually be at the front and center of something like this and to literally watch history unfold is awesome,” said Carlisle, who is based at the southern port of Busan.
The Guardian adds that a White House spokesman explained the reasoning behind Trump’s decision to visit Camp Humphreys rather than the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea:
“There is not enough time in the schedule,” he said. “It would have had to have been the DMZ or Camp Humphreys. No president has visited Camp Humphreys and we thought that that made more sense in terms of its messaging, in terms of the chance to address families and troops there, and to highlight – really, at President Moon’s invitation – South Korea’s role in sharing the burden of supporting this critical alliance.”
US defense secretary Jim Mattis visited the DMZ last week and vice-president Mike Pence made the same trip in April, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also been. “It’s becoming a little bit of a cliche, frankly. And that’s why he’s going to be down at Humphreys.”
Say what you want about Donald Trump’s job performance so far, but it says something undeniably powerful to watch his affection for America’s troops, and the reception he gets from the people who stand to pay the heaviest price from the outcome of presidential elections.
Hat tip: Conservative Tribune