Trump presents Purple Heart to injured Army soldier

President Donald Trump visited wounded U.S. service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday (April 22), his first visit as president to the armed forces hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington.

Accompanied by his wife, Melania, Trump awarded Army Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos the Purple Heart, the medal given to members of the U.S. military wounded or killed in battle.

Barrientos was injured in Afghanistan on March 17 when an Afghan soldier opened fire inside a base in Helmand province, wounding three U.S. soldiers. Barrientos's right leg was amputated, according to a White House official.

Click through images of Trump presenting a Purple Heart to injured soldier:

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Trump presents Purple Heart to injured soldier
U.S. President Donald Trump poses for a photo with Army Sgt First Class Alvaro Barrientos after awarding him a Purple Heart at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump awards a Purple Heart to Army Sgt First Class Alvaro Barrientos next to his wife Tammy and First Lady Melania Trump (R) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump greets Army Sgt First Class Alvaro Barrientos, sitting next to his wife Tammy and First Lady Melania Trump (R), after awarding him a Purple Heart at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
BETHESDA, MD - APRIL 22: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (L), with First Lady Melania Trump (R), talks with Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos (2-L), with his wife Tammy Barrientos (2-R), after awarding the Purple Heart to him during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on April 22, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland. Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos was recently injured in Afghanistan while deployed. (Photo by Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) awards the purple heart to Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos (C), who was recently injured in Afghanistan while deployed, during a ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, with First Lady Melania Trump (R) and Alvaro's wife Tammy (2nd R). / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - APRIL 22: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (2-L), with First Lady Melania Trump (3-R), listen as a citation is read for Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos (3-L), with his wife Tammy Barrientos (2-R), during a Purple Heart ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on April 22, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland. Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos was recently injured in Afghanistan while deployed. (Photo by Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (2nd L) stands during Attention to Orders next to purple heart recipient Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos (2nd R), who was recently injured in Afghanistan while deployed, during a ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, with Alvaro's wife Tammy (R). / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) awards the purple heart to Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos (C), who was recently injured in Afghanistan while deployed, during a ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, with First Lady Melania Trump (R) and Alvaro's wife Tammy (2nd R). / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (R) and First Lady Melania Trump (C) arrive for a purple heart ceremony for Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos, who was recently injured in Afghanistan while deployed, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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The president put his hand on the sergeant's shoulder and kissed the sergeant's wife, Tammy, on the cheek. Trump then pinned the Purple Heart to the sergeant's lapel and clapped him on the back.

"When I heard about this, I wanted to do it myself. ... Congratulations, tremendous," Trump told Barrientos.

During his eight years as president, Barack Obama made visits to Walter Reed a regular occurrence, particularly when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were raging. He ended up visiting the hospital more than 20 times.

While this was Trump's first visit there, he did make a trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in February to honor a service member killed during an operation in Yemen.

Trump is spending the weekend in rainy Washington. He has recently been criticized for his frequent trips to his Florida resort, Mar-A-Lago, which Democrats say are costing taxpayers millions of dollars for travel and security.

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