Moving moment Donald Trump hugs wounded Afghanistan hero who sang God Bless America during tribute to departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Donald Trump embraced an injured and wheelchair-bound veteran from Afghanistan who & # 39; God Bless America & # 39; sang
- American army captain Luis Avila sang the patriotic hymn during a ceremony in honor of the new incoming president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Trump bobbed his head along with the music and gave Avila a thumbs up
- When Avila finished singing, Trump gave him and his wife a big bear hug
- Avila was injured in 2011 by an IED in Afghanistan
- Avila suffered two beats, two heart attacks, his left leg was amputated and he had a severe lack of oxygen – injuries that almost paralyzed him
- He has used music therapy for his recovery
At a moving moment on Monday, Donald Trump embraced an injured and wheelchair-bound veteran from Afghanistan who during a ceremony & # 39; God Bless America & # 39; sang to honor the new incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The president's rare expression of affection came after American army captain Luis Avila sang the patriotic hymn at a ceremony filled with a salute with 21 guns, a fife and drum corp, military bands, and other splendor.
It was an emotional moment for those present, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Milley and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford.
Donald Trump embraced an injured and wheelchair-bound veteran from Afghanistan who & # 39; God Bless America & # 39; sang
American army captain Luis Avila sang the patriotic hymn during a ceremony in honor of the new incoming president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
In December 2011, Avila led a search and rescue mission along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border when a 600-pound improvised explosive exploded under his vehicle – seriously injuring him and killing three others.
Avila suffered two strokes and two heart attacks, along with a severe lack of oxygen that caused anoxic brain damage – injuries that left him almost completely paralyzed and limited to a wheelchair. His left leg was also amputated, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He spent 40 days in a coma before waking up.
He used music therapy for his recovery and was the recommended singer for the ceremony honoring Milley's appointment and Dunford's retirement after more than four decades in the Marine Corps.
Milley accompanied Trump and the others to listen to Avila at the end of the ceremony that took place on a rainy day at Fort Myer in northern Virginia.
During the song, Trump bobbed his head along with the music and Avila gave his signature a thumbs up sign. When Avila finished his solo, the president and other guests of honor sang a new verse.
And when the song was finished, Trump walked to Avila with outstretched arms to give him and his wife Claudia, who seemed to be holding back tears, a big bear hug.
The rest of his national security team also offered Avila hugs, which seemed to give them a challenge coin, including the president.
Army Captain Luis Avila sings God Bless America for President of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and others
Trump gave a big bear hug to Captain Avila and his wife Claudia
Dunford paid tribute to Avila and all the wounded veterans earlier in the ceremony.
& # 39; At the end of this ceremony, you will hear Army Captain Luis Avila sing a tribute to America. Captain Avila was seriously wounded in action and today represents all wounded warriors and killed in action by our army. Both our friends and enemies should know that we, wearing the uniform of the United States of America, the robe of our nation, are all Captain Avilas, & Dunford said.
Avila also played & # 39; God Bless America & # 39; during the National Memorial Day Concert 2017 with soprano Renée Fleming.
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