The family of a U.S. Army corporal killed in Afghanistan has finally received a check from Donald Trump, months after the president promised to give the soldier’s grieving father $25,000 in a phone call.
North Carolina’s ABC affiliate spoke with Chris Baldridge, the father of Army Cpl. Dillon Baldridge, who said he received a check in the mail on Monday and a letter signed by the president.
“I am glad my legal counsel has been able to finally approve this contribution to you,” Trump wrote in the letter. “I hope this will make things a bit easier, but nothing will ever replace your son, Dillon. He was an American hero.”
The Washington Post first reported last week that Baldridge spoke with Trump shortly after his son and two other soldiers were killed by an Afghan police officer in June. According to Baldridge, the president offered to write a check out of his personal account, after the corporal’s father said he was frustrated with military survivor benefits.
“[Trump] said, ‘I’m going to write you a check out of my personal account for $25,000,’ and I was just floored,” Baldridge told the Post. “I could not believe he was saying that, and I wish I had it recorded because the man did say this. He said, ‘No other president has ever done something like this,’ but he said, ‘I’m going to do it.’”
Baldridge told the outlet, which published his account on Oct. 18, that he had yet to receive a check more than four months after Trump’s promise. The check sent by Trump was also dated Oct. 18.
At the time, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters lambasted the Post for asking about the payment, saying it was “disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the president, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda.”
The Baldridge family planned to write a letter thanking the White House. Part of an excerpt obtained by ABC 11 reads: “We want you to know how grateful we are for this generous gift from you. We also want you to know that we intend to use this money to start a non-profit organization in Dillon’s name into something you can be proud of … Our goal is to help as many fellow Americans as possible for the rest of our lives.”