The family of a fallen soldier Corporal Dillon C. Baldridge who became the subject of media discourse last week, over president Trump’s promise of a $25,000 gift, was left “speechless” when they finally received the cheque.
“I’m still speechless. We are so moved and grateful, and we promise to use the money to honor Dillon’s legacy”, Jessie Baldridge told ABC affiliate WTVD, after getting the check and a letter from the president on Monday.
When Corporal Baldridge was killed in Afghanistan in June, his parents Chris and Jessie Baldridge received a condolence call from President Trump, coupled with a surprise promise to give the family a $25,000 gift.
But after weeks passed and the cheque never came, the Baldridges say they didn’t raise the issue.
“We just thought he was saying something nice. We got a condolence letter from him (a few weeks later) and there was no cheque, and we kind of joked about it. We didn’t take to social media and didn’t complain”, Jessie Baldridge said.
Nevertheless, the story came to spotlight after an article by the Washington Post mentioned the president’s unusual offer — and the delay in its completion.
In defense of the delayed process and replying to questions arising from the president’s promise, White House officials said last week that the cheque was in the mail.
The officials said “a substantial process” is involved in the president’s interactions with the public and that the cheque had been “in the pipeline” since Trump’s initial call with the family.
Confirmatively, the cheque, shown to WTVD, was dated for October 18, the same date the White House was asked to respond to the Washington Post article.
Meanwhile, White House Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters fired back forcefully at the peddled suggestion that the president didn’t intend to follow through on his gesture to the family.
“It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the president, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda,” Walters said.
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