Thanksgiving is a time to get together and celebrate as a family, but many American soldiers are away from their families in war zones, like Afghanistan. President Donald Trump secretly left the country and flew to Afghanistan for a surprise visit to the troops. The trip was so secret, not even Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, was told about it until a few hours before Trump arrived. Trump arrived just in time to help serve and then eat a Thanksgiving meal with the soldiers.
The president spent about three hours in Afghanistan. He also met with president Ghani, and then the two leaders addressed the troops to thank them for their service. Trump said, “There’s nowhere I’d rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors. I’m here to say Happy Thanksgiving and thank you very much.” He then told them that everyone was working hard to bring them home. “We will continue to work tirelessly for the day when all of you can go home to your families,” he said. “… and that day is coming very soon.”
It was a great surprise for the men and women serving our country, but it wasn’t an easy task to pull off. As president, Trump is always surrounded by security and members of his cabinet, not to mention the dozens of reporters always trying to get pictures of him. Because Afghanistan is a war zone, extreme safety measures had to be taken.
The officials who went with the president had to hand over their phones and other electronic devices so none of them could leak the information. Preset tweets were even scheduled to post at certain times during the trip to make it look like the president was home enjoying the holiday with his family.
Journalists were not allowed to report on Trump’s visit until it was over and he was back on Air Force One to return home. The secret strategy worked so well that even Newsweek had to scramble to rewrite an article that had talked about how the president would be spending Thanksgiving golfing and tweeting.
But it looks as though everything went exactly as planned, and American troops were gifted with a surprise visit from their president.