EXCLUSIVE: Identity revealed of wounded veteran who Trump saluted at Texas rally [PHOTOS, VIDEO]
In a moving tribute Thursday evening at a Dallas campaign rally, President Trump suddenly pointed straight to a veteran in the crowd directly in front of him and sharply saluted.
The touching moment occurred after the rally had ended and most of the cameras had panned away. DMLNewsApp covered the story of the salute Friday morning. Now, we have learned the identity of the veteran who Trump paid tribute to. The veteran is Jase Wheeler, of Flower Mound, Texas.
Wheeler, 48, served in both the US Navy during the gulf war, and the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry. He lost both his legs, and also lost most of his eyesight, in a 2002 training exercise while jumping out of a Blackhawk helicopter. However, because his injuries did not occur during combat, he has had difficulty getting the assistance he needs, according to Facebook posts.
He posted a photo on his Facebook profile that was taken during rally and is going viral, of his two buddies holding him up during the rally. In another photo taken during the rally, tears are seen streaming down his face.
According to several Facebook posts, after president Trump’s salute, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) came over and spoke with Wheeler as well.
Wheeler said in a Facebook post, “Then being saluted by President Trump on my Brothers Shoulder all I can is American!!! Land of the Free because of Men like these. Airborne Gernimo!!”
Wheeler shared more of his story in another Facebook post:
It’s Finally happing for All of us Veterans. It’s my story short and sweet.
I am truly blessed with most beautiful incredible lady ever Kristi
48 years old and I am in Love.
I served in the US Navy during the gulf war. 9 years break in service tried my calling with the US Marines sworn in twice ready to go October and November they said sorry but we need your Navy records. The US Army Airborne Infantry was in my Corner come on Old Man.
I was in served in the best battalion ever 509th Gernimo❤️. Loved my Brothers I served with. Miss my team mates today and every moment. Brown & Swank Ryan Maseth Col. Tisdale.
I was injured in 2002 training exercise simulating war. I lost the use of both legs from the knees down TBI – PTSD – Lumbar to C3-C7
Rod Damage to both my eyes. Then medical discharge in October 2004 fifteen years ago this month 10 percent.
Was thrown out like trash. In 2004 VA rating was 90 percent same Med board process after 2005. You went to medical battalion. 2008 bankruptcy Foreclosure lost my jobs. In out of ICU. Then 100 percent VA still in the VA HANDS Flat Line 3 times 8 1/2 weeks one time. Crazy Army made a mistake opening up my claim 2012 increase to 20 percent DOD Still no medical coverage for me. No help I filled a claim in 2015 no response yet? 4 years. I been denied surgery denied wheelchair. It’s sick how we are treated at the VA.
Now Senator Cruz hugging me last night tell me it’s going to be okay
Simple words came to twice and hugged me. The Commander Chief saluted me last night. I was with Brothers served on the same ship. Incredible experience I will Never Forget. Thank you for sharing my story like so many Brothers & Sisters like my self we need help. ￼
Conservative grassroots activist Jennifer Jones Beauford posted a photo taken from behind the veteran on her Facebook page late Thursday night.
“There are 3 gentlemen up very front and center. Brothers in arms. Literally. The man in the dark gray shirt gave his legs in service to this country. When President Trump came out His buddies held him up because he didn’t want to be seated for his president. They held him up through most of the speech,” she wrote.
Beauford later posted that she had a long conversation with Wheeler. “Jace lost both legs, suffered a TBI, spinal cord injury and has lost most of his site from a horrible LOD training accident. Since his injuries occurred stateside, many places do not consider him eligible for assistance because it didn’t happen during a combat deployment. Long story short we need to put pressure on our congress to fix the VA. We have wounded warriors like him falling through the cracks of the broken system and we are failing them as a country,” Beauford wrote.
Beauford continued, “Jase is in dire need of replacing his wheelchair, which is currently precariously worn out and dangerous for him to use, but he cannot get a replacement from the VA. His current chair is beyond repair. He is also in need of a surgery to correct issues so he can regain the use of prosthetic legs. He shouldn’t have to pay for that out of his own pocket. My fellow Patriots, who can help me join together and get this veteran what he needs?”
Below is the video showing the moment President Trump pointed Wheeler out and gave him a respectful salute. He meaningfully pointed at Wheeler one last time just before he turned and left the stage.
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