Trump visits wounded veterans, awards Purple Heart at Walter Reed

President Trump paid a visit to wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Medical Center on Thursday ahead of the holiday weekend.

Hailing the service members as “some of the bravest people anywhere in the world,” Trump awarded a recently injured soldier a Purple Heart.

1st Lt. Victor Prato of the 127th Airborne Engineer Battalion was given the award after suffering multiple soft tissue injuries following a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device blast while deployed in Afghanistan last month, the White House said.

"One of the most powerful moments of my life watching @POTUS give the Purple Heart to this American Hero," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted. "Amazed by the strength and resilience of the men and women in our Armed Forces."

The president also met with other sick and injured service members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces, according to Sanders.

Trump, who last visited the hospital in April, told reporters ahead of his visit that "We're just going to wish them a merry Christmas, a happy New Year. We love those people."

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President Trump talks with retired Marine Sgt. John Peck, a quadruple amputee who has received a double arm transplant, and his wife Jessica during a visit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president is expected to return to the facility in the new year to undergo a physical.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.