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Marine Recalls Meeting With Biden After Losing Limbs in Afghanistan

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A Marine who lost limbs during an explosion in Afghanistan while the U.S. military was evacuating the country is going public, detailing his experience meeting President Joe Biden after he was sent to a hospital to be treated for his wounds.

Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, who lost an arm and a leg because of a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when Biden walked into the room. Vargas-Andrews said a number of officials greeted him and wanted to participate in “photo ops” with him, including the president.

Vargas-Andrews recounted the visit during a recent appearance on the “Shawn Ryan Show.” He said generals asked him in the hospital whether he wanted to meet Biden so he could be thanked for his service. Vargas-Andrews, who was still a little foggy from the medicine he was receiving, said yes.

“I told them, I was like, hold all of my opioids, like hold all of my narcotics and stuff. Like I want to be coherent when I meet him,” Vargas-Andrews recalled. “They held all my pain meds.” The Marine said he was told Biden would meet him in “about an hour.”

“Well, one hour goes by. Nothing. Two hours go by. Nothing,” he said, noting that he continued to hold off on taking his medication. “Three hours go by, and it’s like four hours at this point. My mom’s furious. She’s like, ‘What the f–k? Where is this guy?’”

Vargas-Andrews, clearly suffering trauma from his injuries, said he waited and waited for Biden, but didn’t really “make the connection” as to who exactly the commander-in-chief was.

“I had no idea who the president was. I didn’t think it was Trump. I didn’t think it was Biden. My brain couldn’t make the connection,” he said.

After realizing that the president was Biden, Vargas-Andrews leaned back and said, “Oh my f—ing God.”

“Two minutes later, he walks in with Jill Biden and their little entourage of people and like a photographer,” he recalled. “Right away, I remember him coming up to me trying to shake my hand, shake my right hand, and I look at him, and I’m like, ‘I don’t have an arm.’ My left arm is in this big a– cast with this giant orange f—ing foam block around it. I’m completely immobile. All I can do is move my head.”

“He says, ‘Oh,’ and kind of stands up and then goes over to reach for my fingers … and just like grabs my fingers. Doesn’t greet me or anything, just grabbed my fingers. I was like, ‘OK, that’s weird,'” Vargas-Andrews recalled.

The Marine later revealed that Biden “almost immediately starts talking about how their son served in the military. [He] doesn’t say anything about what happened, just starts talking about how their son served in the military.”

Also for our VIPs: Will Joe Biden Ever Be Held Accountable For the ‘Chaotic and Deadly’ Evacuation of Kabul?

Biden eventually came close to Vargas-Andrews and asked him, “What do you want?” The Marine, clearly confused, inquired, “What?”

The president then repeated himself, to which Vargas-Andrews replied, “I’m just like confused. I just got blown up. I just saw my f—ing friends die next to me. I’m like, ‘I just want to be myself.’”

“He’s like, ‘Huh,’ and my mom’s furious, and she’s like, ‘He just wants to be himself. He just wants to be him,’” the Marine added.”He goes, ‘Oh, okay,’ and they just continue to talk about everything but what just happened. They just ushered him out of the room. He didn’t know what to say. And that was that.”

Vargas-Andrews continued by saying that his mother contacted the first lady to try and pass legislation to financially assist caretakers, but was ultimately ignored. The Marine said they “pretended like they were connecting her to the right individuals and didn’t f—ing help her at all.”

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