Trump Breaks 15-Year Tradition By Not Visiting Troops At Christmas

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Donald Trump stayed in Washington, D.C., at the White House for Christmas this year after canceling plans to be at his Florida resort Mar-A-Lago. His decision to stay at the White House was newsworthy in several ways, and there is one particular aspect of his decision that is generating quite a bit of buzz now as the holiday wraps up. Most presidents have visited some of the troops around the Christmas holiday, but Trump did not.

Trump said that he was staying at the White House due to the shutdown and he kept the country informed on what he was doing via his Twitter page. While he did enjoy some holiday festivities, he did not spend time in person with any troops during the Christmas season. As NBC News notes, this is unusual and breaks a long-running tradition.

The president’s decision not to visit any troops this Christmas makes him the first president since 2002 not to make that effort. Trump did reportedly call some military personnel on Tuesday, but he didn’t spend time with any of them in person.

President Trump did visit some wounded troops last year just before Christmas when he spent time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center a few days before the holiday. Prior to Trump’s presidency, former President Barack Obama spent time each Christmas that he was in office visiting troops at a Marine Corps base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Before Obama, former President George W. Bush stopped by Walter Reed to visit wounded warriors from 2003 through 2008. However, he apparently did not visit the troops at Christmas in either 2001 or 2002.

According to USA Today, Trump made phone calls to service members from each branch of the military to thank them for their service. Those called were stationed in a variety of places such as Alaska, Qatar, Bahrain, and Guam.

Trump’s notable decision to break tradition and not visit any troops in person for the Christmas holiday sparks new discussions about his approach to personally supporting the troops. The president has yet to visit troops in any combat zones and this has not gone unnoticed.

Many former presidents have consistently made the effort to visit active troops in combat zones. As the Inquisitr has previously detailed, Trump says that he will do this at some point, but he hasn’t shared any specifics regarding where or when as of yet.

As the site Military.com details, Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and other presidents including Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, and Roosevelt all traveled internationally to visit the troops at least once during their terms. Trump has yet to share much in terms of his reasoning for not doing this and the excuses vary depending on the person asked.

Should President Donald Trump have made an effort to personally visit some of the troops or wounded warriors around this Christmas holiday? Will he perhaps make time to do this now post-Christmas since people are talking about it quite a bit? He may be tweeting a lot about the shutdown and other topics, but people are watching him closely when it comes to his attitude toward the troops and many think he would be wise to consider the optics on this front.