President Trump invited Lance Cpl. Hunter Ian Clark up to the stage during his “Save America” rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday evening, asking the Georgia native to say a few words.
“13 young great warriors were murdered and many injured and a total of 170 people were killed with many, many, very badly wounded. In their memory tonight, we have 13 empty seats of honor here in the front row, our hearts go out to to the families of every service member that we have lost,” Trump said.
“And we are also honored to be joined by one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal and helped evacuate children over the airport, and over the airport wall. You saw him, he did a great job,” Trump added. “Lance Cpl. Hunter Ian Clark. Lance Corporal, come up here!”
Clark was welcomed on stage, with loud applause and cheering from the crowd.
“Hey, my name is Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark,” the Marine began. “I am the guy that pulled the baby over the wall and it’s definitely, probably, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. I just want to thank you for all the support from all of ya’ll. “It really means a lot,” said Clark. “And I’m glad to be home now, today. Thank you.”
Clark, who gained recognition from millions around the world, was the Marine who was seen lifting a sick baby over a cement wall at the Kabul airport during the high intensity Afghanistan withdrawal this past August.
During an Aug. 20 press briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby spoke about the baby, calling the Marine’s actions an “act of compassion.”
“The parents asked the Marines to look after the baby because the baby was ill,” said Kirby. “And so the Marine you see, reaching it over the wall, took it to a Norwegian hospital that’s at the airport. They treated the child and returned the child to the child’s father.”
When questioned by a reporter about the baby’s current status, Kirby replied, “I don’t have that level of detail. But I think this was a very humane act of compassion by the Marines. And it’s exactly the kind of skill and professionalism the general talked about.”
President Trump has openly criticized the current administration for their messy handling of the withdrawal in Afghanistan. “For 18 months, we didn’t have one soldier killed,” the 45th president said during his speech. “We would have never moved our military out first.”