Trump's Latest Brouhaha: PTSD Comments
Critics say he implied troubled vets are weak
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2016 4:50 AM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2016 5:42 AM CDT
Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Loveland, Colo.   (AP Photo/ Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – Donald Trump either offended traumatized military veterans Monday or showed his commitment to helping them, depending on who you talk to. Critics accused the candidate of implying that vets with PTSD were weak with this comment to a group of vets in Virginia: "When you talk about the mental health problems, 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 went on to call for more mental health help for veterans. A round-up of coverage:

  • Afghanistan vet Sean Foertsch, who works with wounded troops, tells the Military Times that Trump's remarks weren't terrible, but he used "bad vocabulary." "If we want to destigmatize PTSD, we need to get beyond strength and weakness," he said.
  • Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, tweeted that "every national leader has responsibility to use accurate and appropriate language when talking about mental health" and called for a national dialogue on the issue.

  • Mashable notes that Marine Staff Sergeant Chad Robichaux, who asked Trump the question that prompted the comments, says "it's sickening that anyone would twist Mr. Trump's comments to me in order to pursue a political agenda," he said in a statement. "I took his comments to be thoughtful and understanding of the struggles many veterans have, and I believe he is committed to helping them."
  • Trump adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn accused the media of taking words out of context "in order to deceive voters and veterans" and many vets commenting online agreed with him, reports the Washington Post.
  • The Hill reports that Joe Biden tore into Trump during a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton in Florida. "I don't think he was trying to be mean. He is just so thoroughly, completely uninformed," said Biden. He said to "care for those we send to war and to care for them and their family when they come home" is a "sacred obligation" for the US. "What are the chances Trump honors commitment to those who are wounded?" Biden asked. "It's not just that he doesn't get it. He doesn't want to find out."