As you likely know by now, Donald Trump, addressing a group of veterans, let them know that he believes soldiers returning to the USA with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) aren’t strong and “can’t handle” being in combat:
When people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the 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.
The very righteous outrage boomeranged around the internet at lightning speed with civilians and veterans alike complete insulted and angered by Trump’s careless words about our American heroes.
But nobody – and I mean NOBODY – was as pissed off as Vice President Joe Biden. And NOBODY does “pissed off” like Joe Biden who unloaded on Trump with both barrels:
I talked to a group of veterans. When you talk about … he said when you talk to a group of veterans, and I’m quoting. I didn’t see this, but I was told this by Chris Cuomo who interviewed me at the last stop. He said and I quote, “When you talk about mental health problems and people come back from combat, they see things that a lot of people in this room have seen many times over.” And then he points out to the veterans in the room and says, “And you’re strong. You can handle it. But a lot of people can’t handle it.”
Where in the hell is he from? No. No, no, no. This is deadly earnest. My son spent a year in Iraq, came back a highly decorated veteran, Bronze Star and a lot else. I’ve been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 29 times.
I find myself in Iraq being asked by General Odierno, a four star, to pin a Silver medal on a young captain who had pulled someone out of a burning Humvee, risking his life. When I went to pin it on him in front of the entire brigade he stood and he looked at me and said, “Sir, I don’t want the medal. I don’t want the medal.” Know why? He said, “He died! He died Mr. Vice President. I don’t want the medal.” How many nights does that kid go to sleep seeing that image in his head?! Dealing with it!
I have a card that I carry every single day. Every single day I have my staff contact the Defense Department early in the morning. There is a black box in the bottom of it (shows card to the crowd). And it lists “U.S. Daily Troop Update”. U.S. troops died in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,753. Not plus 6,000, not 6,700 — 6,753! Every one of those warriors left behind an entire family! A community! For us! Everyone one of them! 52,419 wounded. But as a veteran can tell you, over 200,000 coming home with unseen wounds! 20 suicides a month! I don’t think he was trying to be mean. He is just so thoroughly, completely uninformed.
We only have one…I’ve been saying this and I said it 15 years ago, I got criticized for it. We only have one, we have a lot of obligations, but we have one sacred obligation — to care for those we send to war. And to care for them and their families when they come home. We have obligations to the elderly and the poor and…that’s the only sacred, SACRED obligation we have.
Thank you, Mr. Biden. You speak for me.