Trump to Visit Fort Drum, Sign National Defense Authorization Act

Flanked by members of the military, U.S. President Donald Trump signs the H.R. 2810, National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on December 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Flanked by members of the military, U.S. President Donald Trump signs the H.R. 2810, National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on December 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The White House confirmed Tuesday afternoon that President Donald J. Trump will be visiting Fort Drum on Monday to hold a signing ceremony for H.R. 5515, the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.

Mr. Trump will also deliver remarks during the visit.

U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik wrote Mr. Trump a letter in March inviting him to Fort Drum, and released a statement Tuesday afternoon when the visit was confirmed.

"I am honored that President Trump has accepted my invitation to visit Fort Drum and the brave men and women of the 10th Mountain Division on Monday," said Congresswoman Stefanik. "I am honored that the President will sign the historic National Defense Authorization Act in our district at Fort Drum. I am proud of the partnership with this Administration to begin rebuilding our military and the President's visit is an important opportunity to highlight this achievement and to thank our men and women in uniform for their service."

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Fort Drum officials did not respond to a request for comment on the presidential visit, but Edward W. "Fritz" Keel, executive director of Advocate Drum, said he was glad Mr. Trump was visiting.

"I think this is great for the north country; it's a great chance to highlight the support the local community has for Fort Drum," Mr. Keel said. "I think it's great he's going to use this opportunity to sign the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act."

Jefferson County Republican Chairman Donald G.M. Coon III also said he was happy about the visit.

"Always exciting to have the president of the United States in Jefferson County," Mr. Coon said. "It's good to have the president here at Fort Drum; he obviously understands the importance of the Fort not only to the military but to the local economy."

The past three presidents have all visited the post.

Bill Clinton visited in March 1994 to thank soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division for their service in Somalia and to note the division's relief efforts in south Florida after the region was struck by Hurricane Andrew. He also met with military families on Fort Drum.

In July of 2002, President George W. Bush visited the fort, praising the 10th Mountain Division and calling for higher salaries for military personnel. He also made the prescient promise to deploy the division again -- the 10th Mountain has been the most frequently deployed division in modern history.

In January 2011, President Barack Obama visited a day after announcing a draw-down of troops in Afghanistan, where he told soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division that they were still needed to win the war. 

This article is written by Abraham Kenmore from Watertown Daily Times, N.Y. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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