The U.S. president and first lady flew to Iraq overnight on Christmas day to spend time with American troops overseas.
As IJR Red reported, President Donald Trump visited the U.S. service members at Al Asad Air Base near Baghdad on Wednesday, followed by a pit stop in Germany at Ramstein Air Base to shake hands of hundreds of more service members —this marked the first presidential visit to an active combat zone for President Trump.
The U.S. first lady Melania Trump accompanied her husband during a briefing with U.S. military leaders while in Iraq.
The room was filled with Christmas spirit as tables were covered with red and green cloth and decorations hung from the ceiling.
President Trump and the first lady joined U.S. service members in the dining hall on Wednesday, where they posed for group photos, shook hands, and talked with the members.
As seen in the photo below, one service member told the president that he rejoined the military due to President Trump, as IJR Red reported.
“And I am here because of you,” President Trump responded to the man.
Those who were on duty at the base even had a chance to shake the president’s hand.
President Trump and Melania shook hands with several service members prior to a demonstration of military equipment at the base in Iraq.
The first lady sat in while Trump, also joined by National Security Advisor John Bolton, spoke on the phone with Iraq Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
The president and first lady both delivered a speech to the service members.
“I’m very honored to be here tonight,” Melania said at the base in Iraq, according to the White House. “Thank you for your service, for your sacrifice, and keeping us safe and free. I’m very proud of you.”
“And, on behalf of our nation, I’m wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. Thank you again, and to your families.”
According to the White House, President Trump said during his speech:
“We came to Al Asad to share our eternal gratitude for everything you do to keep America safe, strong, and free. Though you are thousands of miles away from your home and your loved ones, I hope you all had a merry Christmas. I also know that, speaking for your families, they are missing you and they love you. And you know they’re every bit a part of your success; they make it possible. So they’re very special to us, all of the families.
It’s because of your sacrifice that America’s families can celebrate in safety and in peace. And we’re doing great back at home.”
President Trump recently said the U.S. will be withdrawing its troops from Syria, ending its air campaign against Islamic State, as IJR News reported.