A Gold Star wife, Amanda Souza told her tearful story about her husband, a man who developed PTSD during his deployment. She stood in presidential town hall meeting and related, that as a result of his untreated PTSD, he tragically committed suicide.
She turned to President Barack Obama for an answer. That was when the president reached into his heart and gave her a perfect reply.
Her husband was not alone. There is an epidemic of veteran suicides. About 20 veterans kill themselves every day, according to a recent study.
The man who wants to be president, Donald Trump, had a response as jarring to the nerves as President Obama’s reply was empathetic. Trump spoke in front of an audience during a panel interview at the Retired American Warriors PAC:
‘When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of 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.
‘They see horror stories, they see events you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it.’
“People can’t handle it.” This was said by a man who avoided the draft with five deferments. After Trump used up four educational deferments, his doctor provided him with a very questionable deferment for bad feet. Apparently, Donald Trump could not even bear going into the service. He couldn’t handle it.
Suicide is often the only option people think they have when they are in deep pain, emotional such as PTSD or physical. That is why emotional healthcare is so important.
The young widow asked this question of President Obama during the CNN town hall moderated by Jake Tapper:
‘My question to you is how can we ensure that our military men and women understand that it’s OK to get the help that they need and that they’re not going to risk their careers, that they are not going to be labeled?’
Souza is also the mother of an active-duty Marine. She has created a foundation to honor her husband. Its mission is to “help other veterans, service men and women, and their families improve their lives — but she says it’s not enough.”
‘How can we enforce and ensure that especially my son’s generation that’s — that’s coming into the military as careers, that they understand that it’s OK to get the help that they need? How can we change the stereotype?’
President Obama thanked her for all she was doing, then he gave this perfect response:
‘I honor your husband’s service, and I thank your son for his service. And I thank you for your service because you’re serving along with them. And, you know, sometimes the weight of battle comes home.’
He added that there is a stigma associated with mental health in the military and otherwise. But his administration has begun to boost funding for mental health services. He explained:
‘The first is I have instructed the Joint Chiefs and up and down the chain of command that they have a responsibility to de stigmatize mental health issues and issues of PTSD and help to explain to everybody in all of the units under their command that there’s nothing weak about asking for help.’
One man has empathy, the other has none. One man became president, another couldn’t handle it.
Here is the CNN video: