On Monday, Donald Trump suggested to a room full of veterans that soldiers who return from war suffering from PTSD are not “strong” and “can’t handle it.” 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.”
Trump made the statement during a Q&A at the Retired American Warriors Pac. He was asked questions regarding the suicide epidemic in the military. Trump again cited the incorrect statistic that 22 vets commit suicide a day. He was criticized for using this outdated statistic early in September when responding former Marine Rachel Fredericks about this issue.
— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) October 3, 2016
A month later, Trump still isn’t using the correct number from the Department of Veterans Affairs. After repeating the false statistic, Trump vet-splained what PTSD is. The Camp Hope PTSD Foundation responded to Trump’s comments with a tweet about the strength of those struggling with PTSD.
Jon Soltz, a veteran of the Iraq war and the chairman of the Vote Vets organization, said:
“We’re talking about a person, in Trump, who believes that POWs aren’t real heroe…The constant disrespect Donald Trump shows towards our veterans and servicemembers is sickening, and completely and totally disqualifying.”
Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Will Fischer wrote:
“Trump’s comments about veterans with PTSD reveal his total disdain for veterans and military families and highlight just how disconnected he is with our community.”
In response to a request for a response, Trump’s campaign sent a statement from Lt. General Michael Flynn:
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. 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.
Yet again this is someone Hillary Clinton’s fault and not the person who can’t be bothered to use the most up to date statistics regarding the problem he is proposing to solve.