Obama Honors Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

|
October 29, 2009 9:57 a.m.

President Obama made a surprise visit overnight to Dover Air Force Base to witness the return of the bodies of 18 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. The unscheduled, unannounced trip took place just before 4 a.m. on October 29. Read the TPMDC report here.

Obama went into the chapel at Dover to meet with the families of the fallen before participating in a 15-minute traditional ceremony known as a transfer. The pool reporter was told that during the transfer, Air Force Chaplain Maj. Richard S. Bach, would offer a prayer. Here, Obama stands with military dignitaries and Attorney General Eric Holder during the dignified transfer of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Indiana. Griffin was one of 18 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan on October 26.

Newscom/AFP

The dignified transfer of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Indiana.

Newscom/AFP

The solemn visit — Obama’s first such experience since taking office and lifting the ban on photographing war dead — comes as he’s wrestling with a decision to send up to 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. The White House pool was summoned just before midnight to witness the moment.

AP

The White House said the group with Obama at Dover included Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, travel director Marvin Nicholson, Denis McDonough of his national security team, Attorney General Eric Holder, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart, U.S. Army Assistant Judge Advocate Maj Gen Daniel Wright, U.S. Army Special Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Repass, and Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center Col. Robert Edmondson, who will serve as the Dignified Transfer Host Officer.

Newscom/AFP

“You get a real sense of gravity when you see the faces of those there to grieve for a loved one,” Gibbs said, of his own experience.
Newscom/AFP

Newscom/AFP

Newscom/AFP

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30