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Trump honors wounded Cascade Christian grad

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A Cascade Christian High School graduate whose service in Afghanistan cost him his leg was honored Thursday at the White House.

President Donald Trump highlighted the story of 2013 graduate Justin “JD” Day at an event honoring 29 Wounded Warriors working to overcome their disabilities.

The injured service men and women visited the White House as part of the nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project’s multiday Soldier Ride cycling event.

“Among our Wounded Warriors here today is 23-year-old Justin Day,” the president told an audience that included Vice President Mike Pence. “While clearing towns in Afghanistan of terrorist fighters in July, Justin stepped on an IED. Not good. Since then, he has endured more than a dozen surgeries, including the amputation of his right leg. Today, Justin continues his recovery at Walter Reed, where, by the way, they do an incredible job.”

Day was serving as an Air Force Special Operations combat controller assigned to a U.S. Army Special Forces team last summer when he suffered the injury for which he earned a Purple Heart, according to earlier news reports.

A GoFundMe page for Day earlier this summer raised $111,635 from 1,649 donations — more than 11 times the crowdfunding page goal of $10,000.

Trump commended Day, son of Central Point police Lt. Brian Day, for challenging himself to participate in the bike ride with the 28 others overcoming injuries.

“Just days ago, Justin got on a bike for the first time since his injury,” the president said, later adding, “Justin, your story, like so many others’ in this room, is an inspiration to all of us and to all Americans. Honestly, I really think it’s an inspiration all over the world. People, right now, are watching all over the world.”

The cycling event fits injured veterans with a bike and challenges the group to several 15-mile rides over a four-day period, according to the nonprofit’s website. A stop at the White House has been an annual tradition since 2008, according to a Wounded Warrior Project news release.

During his speech, the president called Day’s wife, Aubry, to stand with their infant son for a round of applause. The commander-in-chief poked a little fun at the child’s resemblance to his heroic father.

“I have a little bad news: He looks like Justin, right? Looks just like Justin. Too bad,” the president joked before adding, “That is a beautiful baby,” and congratulating them.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Cascade Christian graduate Justin "JD" Day, standing behind the president, was among Wounded Warriors honored Thursday in the East Room of the White House. Official White House photo by Tia Dufour.
Twenty-nine wounded, ill, and injured post-9/11 service members and veterans visited President Donald Trump at the White House during the annual Wounded Warrior Project's annual Soldier Ride in Washington, D.C. Wounded Warrior Project photo.