Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers is probably best known as the “Saluting Marine” — the Marine who has stood at attention during the annual Rolling Thunder veterans motorcycle rally in Washington, D.C., and saluted the bikers as the procession rode by.
This year, Chambers had a bit of company — some that people expected, and some that they didn’t.
On the expected side was Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee who used the Rolling Thunder event to honor America’s veterans. On the unexpected side was Sgt. Chambers’ new bride, whom he married during the event.
Chambers, who spends every Memorial Day weekend silently saluting the bikers for over four hours as they ride by, has been doing it since 2002. This year, Lorraine Heist — his bride-to-be — joined him in his salute, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
After marrying Heist, Sgt. Chambers gave a toast with Budweiser — a beer which, perhaps not coincidentally, has rechristened itself “America” for the election year.
Before the wedding and the Rolling Thunder rally, Trump spoke at the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, saying he would fulfill America’s broken promises to its servicemen. Trump has made the country’s care for veterans a theme of his campaign, and Sunday was no different.
“Our veterans have been treated so badly in this country,” Trump told the audience. “And in many cases illegal immigrants are taken care – are taken much better care of by this country … than our veterans.”
“And that’s not going to happen. And that’s not going to happen. I’m not going to allow that to happen any longer,” Trump added.
Here’s the full Trump event, if you’d like to see what he had to say (Trump’s remarks begin at roughly 45:00).
While Sgt. Chambers has been doing this for 14 years, one has to imagine that this is one of the most meaningful Rolling Thunder events for him. After all, he got married to his sweetheart, and he did it in the presence of the man who will be (God willing) the next president of the United States of America.
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