Tags: Obama | troops | dead | afghan

Obama Meets Caskets of Afghan War Dead

Thursday, 29 October 2009 08:09 AM

President Obama traveled overnight to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans killed in military service this week, the height of the bloodiest month for the U.S. in the war in Afghanistan.

The president flew unannounced to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware by Marine helicopter to be present for the arrival of the fallen troops.

The solemn visit was the first of its kind for Obama and came as he is withdrawing troops from Iraq but contemplating a troop increase in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the president spoke to sailors and aviators at a Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., where he promised that he would count the full cost of war before deciding to send more military personnel into harm's way.

The administration this year lifted a longstanding ban on media coverage of the return of fallen service members. Obama was accompanied by a small pool of White House reporters who were on duty overnight.

The casualties returning overnight were the seven Army soldiers and three Drug Enforcement Administration agents killed when their MH-47 Chinook crashed at Darreh-ye-Bum, and eight soldiers killed when their Stryker personnel vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in the Arghandab River Valley. Both incidents occurred Monday.

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Thursday, 29 October 2009 08:09 AM
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