The mother of a 22-year-old Army sergeant killed in Afghanistan in June said Wednesday the condolence call from President Donald Trump was "just like talking to a friend."
"It was amazing," Tina Palmer, who son was Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "Not knowing what to expect, it kind of took me by surprise.
"He was very genuine — genuinely thankful for my son and his service. Very encouraging.
"He expressed a sincere gratitude — and it was very, very nice.
"I didn't feel like it was forced or scripted or something that he felt like he had to do," Palmer added. "It was just like talking to a friend."
Baldridge and two fellow soldiers were fatally shot by an Afghan police officer they were training June 10, The Washington Post reported.
In a call to his father, Chris, of Zebulon, N.C., Trump promised to send a $25,000 contribution — but the check was not mailed until the Post queried the White House about it Wednesday.
Palmer, who is divorced from Chris Baldridge, told Cooper she could not speak to the situation.
However, Palmer also met Vice President Mike Pence — "They were very thankful for my son's service" — and said her son understood the risks of enlisting in the military.
"I can't speak for other people, but, personally, I know my son knew what he signed up for," Palmer told Cooper. "That doesn't offend me.
"That just gives me more respect for what he did.
"He knew the danger and risks," she added. "He believed firmly in what he was doing in protecting this country — and they do.
"They know what they're signing up for."
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