Update: CNN reported on Friday that Kelton Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit said in a statement "Regarding the viral photo that began circulating around August 20, 2021, the Marine identified in that particular image was not LCpl Clark."
A US Marine who rescued a baby in Kabul during the botched withdrawal of US armed forces from Afghanistan is reportedly under investigation after he was invited up onto a rally stage by former President Donald Trump on September 25.
It was reported on Thursday by Task & Purpose that a "command investigation" has been "initiated" by the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Clark told the crowd that he's from Warner Robbins, Georgia, and told the crows that he was "the guy that pulled the baby over the wall," going on to say that it was "definitely probably one of the greatest things I've done in my entire life."
"The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has initiated a command investigation regarding LCpl Hunter Clark's attendance at the event last weekend to determine if any DoD policies were violated," Capt. Kelton J Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th MEU, said. "Any details pertaining to this incident are not releasable while the investigation is being conducted."
Just what Clark is being investigated for was not noted in Cochran's statement, but the Department of Defense does not permit active-duty troops to "speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause," according to Task & Purpose.
At the rally, Clark was not clothed in a military uniform, and did not advocate for a politician or political position. He was merely the recipient of accolades from a former president who appreciated his service.
Trump said to the crowd "We're also honored to be joined by one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal and helped evacuate children over the airport and over the airport wall."
The rally-goers also heard from Trump, the former Commander-in-chief, that there were "13 empty seats of honor" for the US troops killed in an August 26 suicide attack on the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport.
"You saw him, he did a great job, Lance Cpl. Hunter Ian Clark. Lance corporal get up here!" Trump said by way of introduction.
Hunter Ian Clark pulled a baby over the fence at the Kabul airport, and in introducing Clark to the Georgia crowd of rally-goers, Trump said "We're all so honored to be joined by one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal and helped evacuate children."
"I am the guy who pulled the baby over the wall and it's definitely probably one of the greatest things I've ever done in my entire life," Clark said, according to local news. Clark attended school in Perry, Georgia, which was the location of Trump's weekend rally.
"All the support from y'all, it really means a lot and I'm glad to be home now today. Thank you," Clark said.
The baby that Clark rescued was mentioned by Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby, who reported on August 20 that the parents of that child asked the Marines for help with their child, who was ill.
Clark was one of the 6,000 US troops that were brought into Kabul to guard the airport and facilitate the withdrawal of the armed forces and civilian evacuations.
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