On Christmas Day, President Donald Trump failed to visit a hospital or a military base though he called military personnel on Tuesday.
But he broke from a recent tradition of actually visiting troops and wounded warriors. He did so in 2017, when he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Dec. 21 (and invited Coast Guard service members to play golf at his course in West Palm Beach, Florida).
By being at home on Tuesday, Trump made history as the first president since 2002 who didn’t visit military personnel around Christmastime.
Records have it that, President Barack Obama visited troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, every Christmas while he was in office, from 2009 to 2016.
Also President George W. Bush visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed from 2003 to 2008. He did not visit troops at Christmas in 2002, in the run-up to the Iraq War, or in 2001.
In recent months, Trump has received wide criticism for not visiting troops in an active combat zone, after canceling a trip to an American military burial ground outside of Paris last month due to weather and skipping the traditional Veterans Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery just two days later.
At the time, the president told FOX News’ Chris Wallace that he should have gone to Arlington, and he hasn’t visited a combat zone because he’s had a hectic schedule adding that he will be visiting.
Trump made the trip to Arlington several weeks later to lay a wreath as part of Wreaths Across America but still has yet to visit an active combat zone.
At this point in their presidencies, Obama visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush visited Iraq just eight months after the start of the war in 2003.