VOTEVETS STATEMENT ON TRUMP COMMENTS REGARDING MENTAL WOUNDS OF WAR

Today, at an event with veterans, Donald Trump implied that only those who are strong enough can deal with the mental stresses of war.  At the event, he said, "When people come back from war and combat and they see maybe what the people in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it."

 

In response, Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org said:

 

"These comments, as horrible as they are, are not shocking.  We're talking about a person, in Trump, who believes that POW's aren't real heroes, and that he's made sacrifices akin to Gold Star Families who lost their loved ones in war.  The constant disrespect Donald Trump shows towards our veterans and servicemembers is sickening, and completely and totally disqualifying.

 

Donald Trump is showing himself to be a completely toxic person, who only looks to pit groups of people against each other.  Comments like these go against even the most basic training people in the military receive, to deal with mental wellness issues.  These kinds of remarks only further stigmatize issues like post-traumatic stress, and discourage people from seeking the help they need.  It will only exacerbate the issue of veteran and military suicides.  Any commander would face serious consequences if he or she said this.   For a potential Commander in Chief to say it is unthinkable.

 

The fact is, dealing with the mental wounds from war has nothing to do about someone's strength.  You wouldn't say that someone can just deal with a traumatic brain injury without proper care, because he or she is 'strong enough,' or that an amputee doesn't need care because he or she is 'strong enough.'  And you certainly wouldn't say that someone who seeks care for those things is, in any way, weak.  If Donald Trump took even 3 seconds trying to understand and respect our veterans, he'd understand that."

 

Founded in 2006, and backed by over 400,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

 

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