The family of a fallen U.S. soldier received a $25,000 check from President Donald Trump on Monday, fulfilling the promise Trump made to them months ago.
The check was sent from Trump’s New York address and arrived at the family’s home in Zebulon, North Carolina, Chris and Jessie Baldridge told WTVD, a local ABC News affiliate.
The Baldridges lost their 22-year-old son, Dillon, when he was killed in Afghanistan in June. A few weeks after the death, Trump called the family to extend his condolences, the The Washington Post reported Oct. 18. Chris Baldridge told The Post he expressed frustration that the Defense Department’s death gratuity would go only to his ex-wife, and said the President offered him $25,000 from his personal account.
However, when The Post published its story, the family had not received it.
As it turns out, the check was written the same day the Washington Post report was published. In a photo released by ABC reporter Jonah Kaplan, the check Trump sent to the Baldridges is dated Oct. 18.
After the report about the missing check, the White House responded by issuing a statement saying the check was in the mail. “The check has been sent. 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,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement, according to the Post.
The check came with a letter from the President, in which Trump appeared to blame the delay on his lawyers. “I am glad my legal counsel has been able to finally approve this contribution to you,” Trump wrote. “Enclosed is a check for $25,000 —I hope this will make things a bit easier, but nothing will ever replace your son, Dillon. He was an American hero.”
The family will put the money toward creating a nonprofit that will make American flags and work with local schools, they told WTVD. They said they are writing a thank you note to the White House now that they have received the check.
“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,” the family wrote, according to WTVD. “Our goal is to help as many fellow Americans as possible for the rest of our lives.”