|President Trump honors fallen Navy SEAL
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President Trump honors fallen Navy SEAL
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. - 01 February 2017 – Assuming the somber duties of
commander in chief, President Donald Trump made an unannounced trip Wednesday
to honor the returning remains of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in a weekend raid in Yemen.
Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, a 36-year-old from Peoria,
Illinois, was the first known U.S. combat casualty since Trump took office less than two
weeks ago. More than half a dozen militant suspects were also killed in the raid on an
Al Qaeda compound and three other U.S. service members were wounded.
Trump's trip to Delaware's Dover Air Base was shrouded in secrecy. The president and
his daughter, Ivanka, departed the White House in the presidential helicopter with their
destination unannounced. A small group of journalists traveled with Trump on the
condition that the visit was not reported until his arrival.
After returning to the White House, Trump commented on the trip at the swearing-in of
Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
"I just returned from an amazing visit with a great, great family at Dover," Trump said.
"It is something very sad, very beautiful. Ryan, a great man."
Marine One landed at Dover shortly before a C-17 believed to be carrying Owens'
remains touched down. The president met with Owens' family during a two-hour visit to
the base. The sailor's family had requested that Trump's visit and the return of Owens'
remains be private.
Owens joined the Navy in 1998 and was the recipient of two Bronze stars, a Joint
Service Commendation and an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, among other honors. In
a statement following his death, the Navy Special Command called Owens a "devoted
father, a true professional and a wonderful husband."
See also 2017 Military Pay Charts