President Donald Trump on Thursday saluted the Wounded Warrior Project, a leading military veterans charity, and made a veiled indication that he plans to serve in the White House for two terms.
During a ceremony at the White House, Trump saluted a large group of the organization's veterans who are participating in a three-day, 31-mile bike ride through Washington, D.C.
"[First lady] Melania and I are deeply honored … to stand here before real heroes," said Trump, who was flanked by his wife and Vice President Mike Pence.
"You've risked all that you've had, all that you possess, to keep our democracy safe. … We salute you, we salute your service and we salute the flag you have so courageously defended."
He noted the bike event was an annual tradition which began under President George W. Bush and that he planned to oversee it for years to come.
"We're going to keep this tradition going … I should have it for about seven more years," Trump said, referring to a second term.
"Our country our values are very way of life endures because of you. … Our way of life continues because of men and women who are willing to sacrifice anything and everything."
Wounded Warrior CEO retired Lt. Gen. Mike Linnington said in a statement:
"I am excited that the warriors we serve will have the chance to ride through our nation's capital and be hosted by the president at the White House. It's a tremendous honor, and we're incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue this amazing tradition."
The bike event, called "Soldier Ride," is "more than a cycling event – it is a chance to heal their bodies and minds," the organization said.
"In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents … talked with fellow veterans to address their mental health issues, and 29.6 percent expressed physical activity helps.
"Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity and connecting with other veterans."
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