Questions are circulating on social media after US President Joe Biden was filmed walking away from a veteran during a Medal of Honor ceremony.
The incident, which took place in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, took a turn before the conclusion of a ceremony honoring retired Army Captain Larry Taylor, 81.
Taylor, who served as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, was awarded the Medal of Honor for a military action that took place on 18 June 1968.
At the time, Taylor was an AH-1 Cobra gunship pilot operating near Ap Go Cong, Bình Dương province.
When a Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol found themselves surrounded by Viet Cong forces, Taylor remained overhead at his own peril, exhausting all of his available Munitions before making a daring insertion that allowed the four-man team to secure themselves to his helicopter’s stub wings.
Once all personnel were secured, Taylor took off under fire and delivered the men to safety.
For his actions, he was originally awarded the Silver Star, which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor much later in his life.
The heroism displayed by Taylor during the dramatic event in 1968 was sharply contrasted by the bizarre award ceremony on Tuesday when the Commander-in-Chief seemingly wandered off before the closing benediction was read by Chaplain Brig. Gen. William Green Jr.
According to the New York Post, the President’s behavior was slammed by many veterans as disrespectful.
“Pardon my French…But what a f***ing idiot. The continuous lack of respect Biden has for anyone is appalling. Hawaii, Service members, active shooter victims, the list goes on,” former Navy SEAL Shawn Ryan said on X/Twitter.
Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas), who served in the US Army, noted on X that “At least he didn’t check his watch this time,” referencing the time when Biden checked the time during a solemn ceremony for the 13 US troops killed in the disastrous 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Many news outlets seemingly ignored the odd departure, or the fact that the White House official feed cuts before the benediction.
“Do you think this was done on purpose or just is it more senile moments? I think the guy is so self-absorbed he makes blunders like this. God this man is a massive embarrassment to our nation,” Gun Owners of America state director for Indiana Tim Harmsen tweeted.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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