Melania Trump visited the troops and delivered her husband's Christmas greetings.
The First Lady of the United States spent the day in a whirlwind visit to military personnel, starting in Washington, D.C, then on to Virginia, and finishing her day on board a Nimitz-class supercarrier.
Melania Trump, whose solo public appearances are usually restricted to promoting her anti-bullying programme "Be Best," has been representing her husband on a goodwill tour, and ABC World News posted her rousing speech to the troops on Twitter on December 12, 2018.
"I want you all to know the president and I are so grateful and have unconditional appreciation for all that you do. This administration will always stand with the men and women of the United States armed forces."
Melania Trump, Twitter/ABC World News, December 12, 2018.
Melania Trump addressed the servicemen and their families and conveyed to them the President's heartfelt thanks and his appreciation for all that they have done for their country:
"I speak on behalf of my husband when I tell you we are forever grateful for your service."
The first lady, who looked suitably martial in a striking military-style jacket with a double row of buttons, black jeans and black military-style boots, promised the servicemen and women the continued unconditional support of the Trump administration.
The First Lady's tour will end aboard the Nimitz-class supercarrier, USS George H. W. Bush, named in honor of the recently deceased 41st President of the United States.
The first stop of the First Lady's one day tour started close to home, at the Joint Base Anacostia Bolling Washington, D.C. At the base, Melania Trump boarded a V-22 Osprey. The V-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing - it combines the maneuverability of a helicopter, with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. Melania is the first First Lady ever to board a V-22 Osprey.
The First Lady traveled on the fabled V-22 Osprey to Virginia, to visit the Joint Base Langley in Hampton. At Langley, Melania was made aware that she was addressing returning veterans, and added a few warm words of welcome:
"I am honored to be able to say welcome home and thank you for answering the call of duty."
The First Lady's tour will end aboard the Nimitz-class supercarrier, USS George H. W. Bush, named in honor of the recently deceased 41st President of the United States:
"It will be very meaningful after the recent passing of President Bush. We continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers."
Melania Trump was greeted warmly and enthusiastically by the military personnel and their families and ended up posing for endless selfies with her admirers.
Her tour seems to have been strategically planned since President Donal Trump has been faced with pointed inquiries as to when he intends to visit the troops stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The President responded to questions from the press evasively, saying:
"We're going to do some interesting things. We'll be doing some very interesting things. (...) But I can't tell you. You're the last people I can tell."
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Melania Trump embraced the spirit of the Season as she joined volunteers for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Foundation "Toys for Tots."
The Foundation collects thousands of new toys every year to distribute to needy children as Christmas presents.
Retired Lt. Gen. Henry Osman, president and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation appealed to Americans to give generously, and remember all the children who lost their homes and their toys in the California wildfires.
Melania happily sorted toys into boxes labeled "Boys" and "Girls" after which she made Christmas cards to accompany the gifts.
"I have been looking forward to this event ever since last year's ended. As a mother, I feel children are the most precious gift of all. They provide so much joy in life."
Melania donated 100 books to the Toys for Tots literacy programme and gave the children coloring books and White House candies inside white tote bags labeled "Be Best" - the name of her child welfare initiative focused on fighting bullying.
In a related story, the Bush family visited the White House for the first time after the 41st President's passing.