Century-old Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee saluted President Trump during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, following the salute with a big smile and a finger gun.
President Trump introduced McGee after speaking about his grandson, a young man whose dream was to become a part of the newly-created U.S. Space Force.
“Most people look up at space, Ian says I want to look down on the world,” the President said of the young man, and then turned his attention to the man seated behind him.
“But sitting behind Ian tonight is his greatest hero of them all,” President Trump continued. “Charles McGee, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio one century ago. Charles is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, the first black fighter pilots, and he also happens to be Ian’s great-grandfather.”
The Daily Caller reported that McGee, who attended the speech in a neatly-pressed dress uniform, stood up as he was introduced. He snapped to attention and saluted the Commander-in-Chief — then offered a smile and a finger gun.
Over applause from the crowd, the President went on to detail some of McGee’s story. “Incredible story. After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back home to a country still struggling for civil rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam,” he said. “On December 7, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday.”
President Trump concluded by announcing that he had signed a bill a few weeks earlier promoting McGee to brigadier general. “Earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee, our nation salutes you. Thank you, sir.”