President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenJayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan President, first lady honor teachers at White House awards ceremony Harris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia MORE made a previously unscheduled trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday evening to visit with wounded service members.
Fifteen Marines who were injured in the suicide bombing at Kabul airport in Afghanistan last week are recovering at Walter Reed. The White House did not specify which service members the Bidens met with.
“Tonight, the President and First Lady are visiting wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,” the White House said Thursday, after the president’s motorcade arrived at the hospital located outside Washington, D.C.
The trip was not on the initial White House schedule. The visit lasted close to two hours and was not open to the press.
Biden made his first visit to Walter Reed as president at the end of January, days after his inauguration. The president has a personal connection to the hospital because it is where his late son, Beau, underwent treatment for brain cancer before he died in 2015.
On Sunday, Biden attended the dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base during which the remains of the 13 service members who were killed in the blast in Kabul returned to the United States. Biden also met privately with some of the families of the service members killed in the attack, which was perpetrated by a branch of ISIS that operates in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military mission in Afghanistan officially came to an end Monday evening after the final U.S. troops left the country, concluding America’s longest war.
“The men and women of the United States military, our diplomatic corps, and intelligence professionals did their job and did it well, risking their lives not for professional gains but to serve others, not in a mission of war but in a mission of mercy,” Biden said in remarks Tuesday, during which he defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. “Twenty service members were wounded in the service of this mission. Thirteen heroes gave their lives."
“I was just at Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude we can never repay but we should never, ever, ever forget,” he added.