On Monday, October 3, Trump drew criticism for his remarks that many people interpreted as reinforcing a stigma that veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are weak (PTSD). After Trumps comment it definitely sparked up an emotional debate.
What sparked this emotional debate was at an event organized by the Retired American Warriors PAC in Northern Virginia, when he was asked about his plans to curb veterans’ suicide. Trumps response to this question was “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 …” Critics took exception to Trump’s portrayal of the victims of PTSD as being people who “can’t handle” the things they saw in war, in contrast to the room of veterans he was addressing, who are “strong” and who “can handle it.”
As wrong as Trump was for what he had said, it’s very annoying to see that people actually think he isn’t.
Vice President Biden asked “Where in the hell is he from?” and in reference to Trump’s comments, Biden confessed he had only been told about Trump’s comments and had not heard them firsthand. Biden also said “I don’t think he was trying to be mean. He is just so thoroughly, completely uninformed.” Many felt the line about some veterans not being able to “handle it” was taken out of context. Trump’s surrogate Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn made a statement saying “Trump was highlighting the challenges veterans face when returning home after serving their country. The media continues to operate as the propaganda arm of Hillary Clinton as they took Mr. Trump’s words out of context in order to deceive voters and veterans—an appalling act that shows they are willing to go to any length to carry water for their candidate of choice.” Too add to Trumps defense, former Marine staff sergeant, Chad Robichaux, said “I think it’s sickening that anyone would twist Mr. Trump’s comments to me in order to pursue a political agenda,” He is also the one who asked the question that led to Trump’s controversial response. “I took his comments to be thoughtful and understanding of the struggles many veterans have, and I believe he is committed to helping them.” In my opinion Trump is not even a little enlightened on mental health issues, and for him to talk about and say that PTSD are for the weak then that clearly shows he doesn’t know anything.
Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, didn’t attack Trump as aggressively as others did but rather said the incident illustrates just how complex an issue PTSD is. “When political leaders talk about things like PTSD and suicide, they need to be responsible and precise,” Rieckhoff told the Hollywood Reporter. “And unfortunately Trump is not a precise person.” When a national leader is going to talk about a mental health issue and suicide ecspecially, they should use accurate information and the appropriate language.