Amidst the economic crises plaguing the American economy, Obama stepped out at Dover Air Force Base for another reason on Tuesday. He was there to salute the troops who died on the nation’s single deadliest day of the war in Afghanistan.
30 soldiers were killed, and Obama was there to climb on board the two C17 cargo planes that carried the fallen soldiers and to console the families. The fallen men were flying on a mission to help fellow forces who were under fire. 22 of those who were shot down on Saturday were Navy SEALs from the same unit that managed the victorious strike against Osama bin Laden. None of those killed had been on the Osama bin Laden mission.The troops who died were described as being incredibly patriotic, talented and passionate.
Obama watched, on Tuesday, as 30 cases were taken off of the planes at Dover, draped in American flags. He stood and saluted as the cases were carried, one at a time, along a red carpet and into vans that were waiting.
Meeting with Families
Prior to standing with the cases, the president spent about 70 minutes meeting with approximately 250 family members and fellow servicemen and women. He offered his condolences and expressed his gratitude to them for the service and the sacrifice they provided. Both the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen were with Obama.At this time, the names of the bodies have still not been made public by the Defense Department. While Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan has declined to explain why, some say that the hesitancy may be due to the sensitive units many of these soldiers were part of.