President Barack Obama made a midnight trip to Dover Air Force Base earlier today to meet the returning bodies of 18 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan on Monday.
Arriving at the base at 12:34 a.m., the president visited with the fallen troops' families in a chapel on the base grounds. Just before 4 a.m., the president and several other officials - including Attorney General Eric Holder, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and acting DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart - joined members of one service member's family to salute a flag-draped coffin being transferred from a C-17.
The president's group stood in single file to salute the casket holding Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin, whose family consented to media coverage of the Indiana soldier's return. The whole ceremony took approximately 15 minutes, according to the pool.
Monday's three helicopter crashes in Afghanistan - which killed 14 Americans, including three DEA agents - made October the deadliest month in the Afghan war to date.
Obama returned to the White House at 4:45 a.m., touching down on the South Lawn in Marine One.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Posted by pathickey at 7:56 AM