A widower whose wife died fighting ISIS in Syria last year, came out in defense of President Trump’s respect for fallen veterans following an Atlantic story claiming the president made disparaging remarks about them.
“President Trump’s actions have shown our troops more respect than any president in my lifetime,” Joe Kent wrote in a piece for NBC News on Saturday. “His use of decisive military force only when absolutely necessary, combined with his reluctance to use the military as the sole tool of foreign policy, is not only good and smart, but the sign of utmost respect for the lives of our troops.”
Kent’s wife, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, died in 2019 after a suicide bombing in Syria, which killed four people. Kent met the president following his wife’s death, when he waited with him for his wife’s body to come back to the United States, according to the piece.
“As we unclasped our hands, the president said to me, ‘Shannon was the real deal, we are lucky to have people like her willing to go out there and face evil for us.’ He kept his arm on my shoulder,” he recalled.
“Together, as we waited for the plane that would bring Shannon home, we spent another 20 minutes talking about my wife, our children and what an amazing mother, wife, and soldier she was. It was clear to me that President Trump truly cared — not just that Shannon and three others had been killed in Syria, but about who Shannon and the three others were as people,” he wrote.
The Atlantic published a story on Thursday based on anonymous sources who claim Trump said in 2018 during a trip to Paris, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” He allegedly made the comment in regards to World War I U.S. service members buried there.
Kent rejected the narrative that the president doesn’t support fallen veterans, taking direct aim at the Atlantic story in his Saturday opinion piece.
“So, when I read the anonymous allegations this week that President Trump spoke disparagingly of our troops, I knew they simply weren’t true — or were taken completely out of context in order to hurt him before the election,” Kent wrote.
“Since 9/11, America’s all-volunteer force has served under two presidents who were quick to ceremoniously praise our sacrifices without taking any real action to change the grinding status quo that has become the hallmark of the Global War on Terror,” Kent continued.
He added, “As both a veteran of our nation’s wars and a Gold Star spouse, I find that platitudes about respect for our nation’s troops from leaders without a strategy to keep us from getting into pointless or unwinnable wars are the highest form of disrespect. Our troops and our nation deserve a president who has our best interests in mind, not just meaningless platitudes about our service meant to paint a rosy picture of war and destruction.”
Trump has denied the Atlantic’s claims, calling it a hoax.
“There is nobody who feels more strongly about our soldiers, our wounded warriors, our soldiers who died in war,” he said.
Author: Emma Colton