Nearly a year after President Donald Trump promised a World War II (WWII) veteran a visit to the White House on his 95th birthday, the president came through on his promise, inviting the hero, as well as several others, to the Oval Office.
At a Veterans of Foreign Wars event on July 24, 2018, WWII veteran Allen Jones asked Trump to “allow me to bring my family into the Oval Office,” which the president promptly agreed to, and on Thursday, the promise came true.
“This is a special moment,” President Trump said at the White House on Thursday.
“And Allen now is 95 years old. Great World War II hero. And when I spoke to him, I said, ‘Come on up to the White House sometime and I’ll see you.’ And guess what? He called and he said, ‘Hey, you promised.’ And I deliver, right? I deliver. We don’t play games.”
Watch the video below:
Beautiful afternoon in the Oval Office today with a few great American HEROES! pic.twitter.com/HYEI83NVrm
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2019
In addition to the 95-year-old veteran, his friends Sidney Walton, a WWI veteran who is 100 years old, Floyd Wigfield, 101, and Paul Kriner, 103, also attended.
“I want to be like you someday,” Trump said, which was met with laughter. “I want to be like all of you guys someday.”
Walton’s daughter, Ellie, explained that her father has traveled across the U.S. to meet with all 50 governors and now the president to spread the word “of how few World War II veterans there are left.”
When she said her father “doesn’t want anyone to regret not meeting a World War II veteran,” Trump responded, “We knew how to win wars. That was a tremendous victory.”
Veteran Walton told the president he served in the U.S. Navy to fight Adolf Hitler.
Jones shared how when he met Trump a year prior he was afraid of the U.S. Secret Service for putting his arm around the president. He continued:
“And I had a picture with me and I asked the President if he would sign it for me. He said he sure would. And I said to him that I was going to be 95 today, Mr. President, on April 11. And I said, ‘Well, I’d like to bring my family to the White House and be in the Oval Office,’ because somebody told me that I would never get in the Oval Office.”
“And I really appreciate, Mr. President, for you allowing us to come to be with you today,” Jones said. “And I just wish you the best in all of your endeavors.”
Jones — who was one of five brothers who served in WWII — asked if he can join Trump on stage the next time he is in Pittsburgh, which the president agreed to “a hundred percent.”
Veteran Kriner shared about his time serving in WWII, explaining, “It was rumored we were second longest in combat. We had the 517 days of combat” — he noted that they started out in Africa, then traveled to Italy, France, Germany, and then ended in Füssen, southern Germany, in an Alps mountain area. Additionally, Kriner served in the Korean War.
Veteran Wigfield served in the 4th Division during WWII in Utah in 1944, where he said he was wounded less than a month there, then was wounded again in France and England.
See his full comments below:
“I want to thank all of you,” the president said. “Great heroes. Great warriors. Highly respected.”