President Trump gifts $25,000 to North Carolina father of fallen soldier

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Thursday, October 19, 2017
North Carolina soldier among three killed in Afghanistan
22-year-old Corporal Dillon C. Baldridge of Youngsville

ZEBULON, North Carolina -- President Donald Trump has sent a $25,000 gift to a Zebulon man whose 22-year-old son, a U.S. Army corporal, was killed in Afghanistan in June.[br /][br /][b]RELATED: [url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""]Trump's silence on Twitter around North Bay fire raises questions in California[/url][/b][br /][Ads /][br /]The gift came several months after Trump first made the pledge during a personal phone call with the family, the White House confirmed to ABC News.[br /][br /]The father, Chris Baldridge, told The Washington Post he appreciated the president's call and was stunned by his generosity.[br /][br /]"I could not believe he was saying that, and I wish I had it recorded because the man did say this," Baldridge told the paper. "He said, 'No other president has ever done something like this,' but he said, 'I'm going to do it.'"[br /][br /]But then, Baldridge told the Post, the only thing he subsequently received from the White House was a letter of condolence; no check.[br /][br /]"I opened it up and read it, and I was hoping to see a check in there, to be honest," Baldridge said. "I know it was kind of far-fetched thinking. But I was like, 'Damn, no check.' Just a letter saying, 'I'm sorry.'"[br /][Ads /][br /]Cpl. Dillon Baldridge was killed in June when an Afghan security officer opened fire on his American counterparts[/url][/b] in an insider attack. The Taliban claimed responsibility.[br /][br /][media ID="2549436" /][br /][br /]"I was always impressed by Dillon," Chris Baldridge told our sister station in June about this son. "He was a motivated kid. Whatever he wanted to do, he was going to do it."[br /][br /]The White House addressed the delay Wednesday in sending President Trump's promised gift.[br /][Ads /][br /]"There is a substantial process that can involve multiple agencies anytime the President interacts with the public, especially when transmitting personal funds," a White House official said Wednesday. "The check has been in the pipeline since the President's initial call with the father. The President has personally followed up several times to ensure that the check was being sent. As stated earlier, the check has been sent."[br /][br /]Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said any suggestion the president didn't intend to follow through on his pledge, despite the months that have passed, is unfair.[br /][br /]"It's 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," Walters said.[br /][br /]The donation was first reported by the Post.[br /][br /][i]ABC News contributed to this report.[/i]