Trump: Veterans With PTSD “Can’t Handle It”
Donald Trump addressed conservative veterans in Herndon, Virginia, early this week. Those who attended came away with a clear message: if you are suicidal or loved someone who has committed suicide as a result of complex and general post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s simply because you “couldn’t handle it.”
Recent studies have shown that PTSD and C-PTSD may be more physical than psychological. It’s hard to fight an invisible enemy that physically beats you as well as psychologically wears you down.
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of folks 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. They see horror stories, they see events you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it,” Trump said Monday during an interview at the Retired American Warriors PAC.
Given how often Trump inserts his foot into his mouth, you’d think the man had developed a taste for latex and leather. His insensitive comments left his publicists and campaign managers scrambling to sort out the word salad spewing from the GOP candidate’s mouth.
“Mr. Trump was highlighting the challenges veterans face when returning home after serving their country. He has always respected the service and sacrifice of our military men and women — proposing reforms to Veteran Affairs to adequately address the various issues veterans face when they return home,” Trump adviser and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said in a statement.
“There’s a reason that hundreds of military leaders around the country have endorsed and signed on and sat in that room today to express their support for Donald Trump,” Trump senior adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN’s John Berman.
Not all veterans are ready to hop aboard the Trump train. Both parties are rallying hard for the veteran vote, which often leans toward republican red. But this group has received intense criticism and insensitive insults by Trump himself, as seen in Clinton’s campaign video below.
Our veterans and military families deserve better than what Donald Trump says about them. pic.twitter.com/1gbXA2gvas
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 4, 2016
“We’re talking about a person, in Trump, who believes that POWs aren’t real heroes, and that he’s made sacrifices akin to Gold Star Families who lost their loved ones in war,” Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and Chairman of the progressive VoteVets.org, said in a statement. “The constant disrespect Donald Trump shows towards our veterans and service members is sickening, and completely and totally disqualifying.”
Post-traumatic stress isn't something strong people can handle & weak people can't.
Trump’s comments aren't just ignorant, they’re harmful.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 4, 2016
Clinton tweeted her support of those suffering from PTSD. Last week at a CNN Town Hall meeting, President Obama spoke about PTSD and other mental health issues of veterans.
“I have instructed the Joint Chiefs, and up and down the chain of command, that they have a responsibility to de-stigmatize mental health issues and issues of PTSD, and help to explain to everybody in all of the units under their command that there’s nothing weak about asking for help,” Obama told a military widow at the event.
Veterans and their loved ones have responded to Trump’s comments and the politicization of PTSD between the two candidates.
I guess my buddy who I deployed with, who suffered from PTSD, and who took his own life wasn't as strong as a roomful of Trump's supporters. https://t.co/iLb5V4PYs8
— Corbin Reiff (@CorbinReiff) October 3, 2016
#PTSD has nothing to do with being weak.
These things do:
Whining about the Moderator
Calling Women Fat
Hiding Your Taxes
— Jillian Hurley (Redacted) (@BeautyBind) October 4, 2016
— Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) October 4, 2016
My Dad, a VN vet, suffered from PTSD for 30+ yrs, asking 4 help was the strongest thing he ever did. Thru all those yrs he paid his taxes https://t.co/o6Xh5RBuVH
— SerBrienneAndGhostDeservedBetter (@iMissMollyIvins) October 4, 2016
I have PTSD. I don't think that's a secret to anyone on the timeline. If you think that means weakness…ooh have I got news for you.
— ❄Mikki Kendall❄ (@Karnythia) October 3, 2016
PTSD is not a weakness, it is a natural, normal, and biological reaction to stress.
— Maximilian Uriarte (@TLCplMax) October 3, 2016
The strongest can be put in unwinnable situations & PTSD is not testimony to their weakness but to the horrors of war. @slfoster22
— Mr Ghostly (@Mr_Ghostly) October 4, 2016
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