Trump visiting Walter Reed military hospital

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L), with First Lady Melania Trump (R), talks with Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos (2-L), with his wife Tammy Barrientos (2-R), after awarding the Purple Heart to him during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on April 22, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Barrientos' injuries required the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

Trump thanks Barrietos and said that when he heard Barrietos would receive the medal he went to Walter Reed because "I wanted to do this myself".

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Trump's decision to allow news media coverage of the medal ceremony was in marked contrast to the practice of former President Barack Obama, who awarded Purple Hearts behind closed doors.

It was the first of many Trump likely will award during his service as commander in chief of the US military. "Congratulations ... tremendous." The medal is given to service members who were wounded or killed in battle. "This was much easier".

The rally also coincides with the White House Correspondents Association dinner, which Trump said in February he would skip, breaking a long tradition of presidents attending and delivering a usually humorous speech and an appreciation of Washington journalists.

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Trump announced the visit at midday in a Twitter post.

Before leaving the White House for the hospital, the president tweeted that he looked forward to "seeing our bravest and greatest Americans".

The President also plans to hold a press conference next Thursday on veterans' issues specifically.

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