President Donald Trump attended a somber ceremony for two soldiers this weekend. After his rally, the president, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Army Chief of Staff James McConville, attended the ceremony where the remains of Sgt. !st Class Javier J. Gutierrez of San Antonio, Texas and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio R. Rodriguez, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, were flown in to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on a C-7 Cargo Aircraft.
These brave men, who were killed in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan, were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
For the first time since 2009, the attendance of both President Trump and Vice President Pence was given press by White House Reporters as it is the first time in a decade that both a president and vice president attended a dignified transfer together.
The attack that wounded six other American soldiers was after a key leader engagement that took place at the Sherzad district center, located in Nangarhar province. This place was a stronghold for Afghanistan's Islamic State off-shoot. The attack also left One Afghan soldier dead with three of his comrades wounded.
Gutierrez and Rodriguez have been promoted posthumously to sergeant 1st class and awarded Bronze Star medals and Purple Hearts.
Both Gutierrez and Rodriguez were 28 years old. Rodriguez was a former Army Ranger, veteran of eight combat deployments with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He retrained to be a cryptologic linguist and was then assigned to the 7th Special Group in 2018. Gutierrez as a Green Beret communications sergeant who had one previous deployment in Iraq.
According to the Associated Press, whose source is an Afghan government official, the shooter was an Afghan soldier who argued with US troops before opening fire. The shooter was not suspected of being a Taliban infiltrator, bringing an important detail as peace talks with the insurgent groups continue.