Slain SEAL's Dad Refused to Meet Trump

'I'm sorry, I don't want to see him'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2017 11:47 AM CST
Slain SEAL's Dad Refused to Meet Trump
Marine One, with President Trump aboard, lands at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Trump traveled to Dover AFB to meet with family members Chief of Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill, the US servicemember killed in a raid in Yemen.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

When Bill Owens went to collect the body of his son at Dover Air Force Base, he found out that the president of the United States was also on his way to pay his respects as the casket of Chief Special Warfare Officer William "Ryan" Owens was unloaded. But he told the chaplain, "I'm sorry, I don't want to see him. I told them I don't want to meet the president." The elder Owens, himself a military veteran, tells the Miami Herald that more than shunning President Trump, "I want an investigation" into the death of his son, the only American casualty in a botched raid in Yemen, and the first American combat death of Trump's term. "The government owes my son an investigation." Owens says he's been troubled by Trump since he went after a Gold Star family while on the campaign trail.

Says a White House rep, per the AP: "I can't imagine what this father is going through. His son is a true American hero, and we should forever be in his son's debt." But Owens questions the very purpose of the mission: "Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen—everything was missiles and drones—because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?" The entire Herald article, which profiles 37-year-old Ryan Owens extensively, is worth a read. (More Navy SEALs stories.)

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