WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — In a reality TV moment during one of the United States’ most formal occasions, President Donald Trump reunited a soldier with his family during the annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
The wife and two children of Army Sergeant Townsend Williams were among Trump’s guests at the address to Congress, and he began to tell their story — in Williams’ absence.
“War places a heavy burden on our extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her two children,” Trump said, explaining that Williams’ husband has been in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment.
“Amy’s kids haven’t seen their father’s face in many months. Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and in peace, and we want to thank you. Thank you, Amy,” Trump said, prompting applause from the chamber.
Williams stroked her son’s hair while her daughter clutched her arm.
“But Amy, there is one more thing. Tonight, we have a very special surprise. I am thrilled to inform you that your husband is back from deployment,” Trump said, as the reality dawned on Williams and she put her hand over her mouth. The applause got louder.
“He is here with us tonight, and we couldn’t keep him waiting any longer,” the president said.
In his dress uniform, with campaign ribbons on his left breast, Williams slowly walked down the steps behind them, bent down, embraced his children and hugged his wife.
© Agence France-Presse