Gold Star families as political fodder

| October 19, 2017 | 72 Comments

The political Left has decided that they’ll start attacking the President using Gold Star issues. First, they started attacking President Trump for not making phone calls to folks who lost loved ones in the war against terror. Trump correctly responded that all Presidents haven’t made those phone calls.

This is from one of our friends who happens to be a Gold Star mother;

Next, they started in on a report from Florida Democrat, fashionista and Congressional Representative Frederica Wilson that, for some reason, she had been in the limo when Sergeant LaDavid Johnson’s widow received a call from the President. Johnson was killed in an ambush in Niger last week, along with three other special forces soldiers. According to the Associated Press;

Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat who was in the car with Johnson’s family, said in an interview that Trump had told the widow that “you know that this could happen when you signed up for it … but it still hurts.” He also referred to Johnson as “your guy,” Wilson said, which the congresswoman found insensitive.

What the president actually said was “They know the risk, They know what they sign up for but they still volunteer to put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid“. Quite a bit different than the edited quote.

So, to summarize, the Left claims that Trump doesn’t make phone calls to Gold Star families, except when he calls a widow while a Congressional Representative is in a limo with a widow, and they don’t like parts of what he says.

For some reason, AP thought it was appropriate in an article about Trump and Gold Star families to put a picture of Obama saluting a fallen soldier at the top of their article;

If anyone doesn’t deserve to be dragged into politics, it’s Gold Star families.

Like or hate Trump, let’s focus on policy and leave these folks out of it.

Category: Politics

Comments (72)

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  1. Combat Historian says:

    Demonrat hyenas politically feasting off the bodies of the honored dead, that’s their normal SOP…

  2. NHSparky says:

    Just when you thought the left couldn’t get any lower, they find a shovel and go crazy with it.

  3. chooee lee says:

    As a Gold Star family member from WWII should I be pissed off that Harry Truman never called my mother?

  4. 1610desig says:

    Speaking of fodder, I’m sure most of us remember that abrasive, annoying asshole Khan politicizing his gold star status during the run up to the presidential election…”blah blah Islam good Trump says so right here in the Constitution…blah blah”. Just another reason Charlottesville is so “newsworthy”

    • LC says:

      Honest question – were you equally incensed when President Trump brought up CPO Owens, the SEAL killed in the Yemen raid, with his wife in attendance, in a political speech? Or is it okay to use the fallen when the message aligns with the politics we like?

      I fully agree the Gold Star families should be kept out of politics. On both sides. And you’re always going to find some families who are happy with the current President and some who aren’t – true during Obama’s turn, and true now. One thing the President shouldn’t have said is that he’s called all the families. His ego just doesn’t let him admit he isn’t the ‘best’ at everything. It’s a false claim, and it was a needless one. The other stuff, about how ‘he knew what he signed up for’, was tone deaf given the circumstances, but I have confidence it was meant with nothing but respect and should be a non-issue.

      • Ret_25X says:

        There is no avoiding the political element in all of this. When the nation sends young men and women off to war, it is a political action and has political content to the discussion.

        However, gold star families are not a source of policy input. Sorry, but losing a loved one to combat infers no more knowledge to the surviving family on political policy than say, having a family member die of cancer makes you an oncologist.

        That is the real lesson here. These people have nothing to offer that actually informs the debate.

        so highlighting the sacrifice in a speech is different than exploiting the family the way this democrat is this family.

        • LC says:

          I agree with you on virtually all points, with a quibble on the last. Certainly, these scenarios are not equal, but I still think singling out a person, and inviting them to a televised rally, is most certainly a political move.

          Different, but still political – and that’s the point. These shouldn’t be politicized in any way, shape or form. By either party.

      • T1B says:


        I would argue that the difference is that while CPO Owens’ wife was in attendance when Trump mentioned him, Khan took to the stage and microphone himself. No one mentioned his son with or without his knowledge/permission. He became an active participant in politics by his own will.

        And I’m not saying that Trump invoking CPO Owens is a good thing or a bad thing. But to try and square that situation with Khan’s active engagement is reaching in my opinion.

        • LC says:

          I agree there are differences, but ultimately I think it’s splitting hairs – big hairs, perhaps, but still hairs. I’d simply prefer both sides stop playing up grieving families for their political agendas.

          I mean, let’s be honest, we’re going to find people on both sides who’ve lost loved ones in service to the country. If anything should be sacred in this country, and rise above politics, it should be the people who’ve paid the ultimate price. The President shouldn’t have gotten into a he-said / she-said match about this – SGT Johnson’s widow felt disrespected, and the CIC saying he didn’t say what she said he said is just adding insult to grief. Let her grieve and let it go. That’s my take.

      • Hondo says:

        The other stuff, about how ‘he knew what he signed up for’, was tone deaf given the circumstances . . . .

        Except it appears that’s not what Trump said at all, LC.

        If you’re going to castigate the man for being “tone deaf”, you should at least get the tune right.

        • LC says:

          Except it appears that’s not what Trump said at all, LC.

          It’s not? I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong, but to my knowledge no transcript exists. I don’t give a rats ass about the Congresswoman’s take, but I think I read the widow said she was spot on. Sure, the President has said that’s not the case, but he’s also said -at the same time!- that he’s called all the Gold Star families, and that appears to not be true either. So, who is the most trustworthy person here? I’m going with the widow for now.

          As for being ‘tone deaf’, it’s completely and utterly true. Look, military people might understand when people say something like, “he knew what he signed up for’ that it’s accurate and perfectly fine thing. But non-military people, and grieving widows, may take it quite a bit differently. Just as I can greet my Aussie mate with a, “What’s up, ya fuckin’ cunt?” and he’ll laugh because that’s just how Aussies talk, but if I say the same thing to my wife,.. well, I’m screwed. You gotta be able to read the tone of the room before you open your mouth. This President did not, even if I do believe his intentions were good.

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            Did you read that full quote above?

            I see -nothing- inappropriate.


            Once again, lying liars try to selectively edit reality to generate division and hate.

            This time, they are trying to drive a wedge between the troops and their commander in chief.

            Did you stop to think about just how -insane- it is for them to go -there-?

            Yes, they -did-.

            And they are dancing in the tears of -widows- to do it.

            -that- is what I call -deplorable-.

            • LC says:

              It doesn’t matter that you find nothing inappropriate. It doesn’t matter than I find nothing inappropriate, either. It matters that the widow was upset.

              As I said above, I think President Trump had the best of intentions.. but he evidently sucked at being comforting. Maybe because he’s new to this, who knows? It doesn’t matter – the POTUS -any POTUS!- should back off, allow a grieving widow to feel how they feel, and not continue to make this a story.

              How fucking hard would it have been to simply come out and say, “I’m terribly sorry my words upset her; I was trying to offer comfort as best I knew how. This is a heart-breaking tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with all who lose loved ones in these wars.” Period.

              Instead, we get him denying he said what the widow herself says he said – yes, the POTUS is calling a grieving widow a liar. How in the hell that’s a good fight for anyone to pick is beyond me. This would be a non-story lasting a few hours except for his handling of it and his ego.

              • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                Actually, what a congresscritter and presstitutes said.

                And keep saying. And shit stirring

                Because nothing less than overthrow will satisfy the mob.

                If this isn’t meant to be politicized, why do dems and presstitutes keep hammering it.

                You complain because, unlike Bush, this one will punch back.

                Get used to Trump. Y’all are going to reflect him with this crap.

                • LC says:

                  Actually, what a congresscritter and presstitutes said.

                  And what the wife confirmed:

                  When asked if Wilson’s account — that Trump told the widow, Myeshia Johnson, her husband “knew what he signed up for” — was true, Jones-Johnson told the Washington Post “yes.”

                  Attack a Congresswoman or the press as much as you like, but attacking a grieving widow who confirmed that, yes, she felt disrespected and, yes, he said those words (even though I agree those words aren’t bad), and you’re stepping into the ‘stupid’ territory of human interaction.

                  Making matters worse, GEN Kelly has basically confirmed that he told Trump what to say, and it sounds like something someone from the military would say,… but POTUS is now claiming it’s not what he said. I mean, at the very least, if you can’t be decent enough to not contest the story of a grieving widow, at least be competent enough to get your side’s stories correct.

                  I complain because it’s all stupidly unnecessary, and ego-driven by POTUS (and, yes, probably the Congresswoman too).

                  As for re-election, we’re a ways off… and much depends on how stupid the Democrats are with their candidate. But if you’re that confident he’ll get a second term, I want some of what you’re smoking.

                    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                      He knew what he was getting into / went anyway

                      Is old-school for “brave man”

                      Long established, and not disrespectful.

                      Presstitutes and congresscritter, and fellow travelers. Keep hammering this non-issue

                      You folks keep dancing in widows tears, and then throwing stones at others.

                      Twist and squirm all you want. You are wearing the “assbag” on this one. And rapidly burning off any respect you have previously earned.

                      Whatever anger the widow feels is -not- a political football.

                      Drop it.

                      Or be the assbag dancing in widows tears.

                      Just fucking drop it.

                    • LC says:

                      Not sure how many times I have to say it, but I have zero problems with those words. They aren’t disrespectful to me. I’ve got family in; they know what they signed up for.

                      This isn’t about you, or me, and it shouldn’t even be about POTUS either – it’s about a grieving widow who felt disrespected. Disagree with her? Fine, but don’t make a spectacle of it.

                      I have every belief that POTUS was trying to be comforting. He wasn’t intentionally trying to disrespect the poor woman. But, to echo your ill-aimed advice, he should drop it. It would be far less of a story today if he weren’t tweeting about it last night again.

                      Funny,… I seem to say that about a lot of issues about this Presidency. Self-inflicted wounds abound!

                      To recap: No, the President did not intend to insult anyone – far from it, he was trying to do an imaginably difficult job. No, those words aren’t innately disrespectful, especially among veterans. But at the end of the day, he didn’t have the empathy to properly relate, and it upset the widow. And rather than simply say, “We’re sorry; we feel for her, and her family, and our thoughts and prayers are with her at this difficult time”, they doubled down, got their stories incorrect, and made a mess of things.

                      If saying the President tried his best to do a damn hard job and didn’t succeed, and then made things worse, makes me an ‘assbag’, I’ll wear the title with pride.

          • Perry Gaskill says:

            Lc, my own view is that it’s likely Johnson’s wife and mother were influenced by the reaction of Frederica Wilson, who had her own agenda. Nothing Trump said would have made Wilson happy, and she would also have been outraged if he hadn’t said anything at all.

            Or do you really think, despite protests to the contrary, what Trump said was fundamentally mean-spirited, and he was trying to disrespect the soldier killed?

            The news media has been playing a riff on Trump’s “outer-borough mannerisms” for some time. They need to get over it.

            • LC says:

              That’s entirely possible, and I have zero love for the Congresswoman’s role in this. But at the end of the day, whether influenced by her or not, the widow is backing her story, and seems to have been upset by the President’s words.

              There’s zero reason for the President to get into a he-said / she-said war of words with a grieving widow. Zero. She could be batshit crazy, and the best course of action would still be to just keep quiet.

              And as I said above, I don’t think upsetting her was his intention, and other Gold Star families have been very complimentary towards the President and VP in this same scenario. This would be a story that went nowhere if the administration had reacted with more empathy.

  5. Graybeard says:

    The media and Democrats and the left (but I repeat myself) prove, once again, just how big a bunch of scumbags they are.

  6. Garold says:

    Post-Vietnam all us vets did know what we were signing up for and did so voluntarily knowing the risks.

    • LRRP2 says:

      I knew what I was signing up for during the VN war . I voluntarily enlisted , volunteered for Viet Nam , voluntarily extended my tour , etc . I knew — but I was young , dumb and bullet proof .

      • rgr769 says:

        I didn’t volunteer to go to RVN, but when I took that RA Infantry commission, I knew I would end up there soon. My first orders that came right after my commission assigned me to the 6th ID, which was forming in Hawaii to go to RVN. By the time I finished my five months of schools, it has been shelved, so I was sent to the 509th in Germany for my 12+ months of troop duty. In RVN, once I had a staff job on a firebase after 7 months as a company commander, I did volunteer for a more dangerous job that required me to extend for over three months added to my tour. And we all thought we were bullet proof, until something happened to show us we were not.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      I gave up my college deferment and joined because it was the right thing to do.
      Ken Burns does not tell the stories of those of us who believed in stopping communism and freeing an oppressed people.
      There were many of us and there still are.

      • rgr769 says:

        I watched a little of Burn’s so called Vietnam War documentary. I couldn’t stomach all the leftard propaganda, so I shut it off. He might as well have it captioned in Vietnamese. I am sure it will be a big hit in Hanoi.

  7. CDR_D says:

    Truman never called my family when my dad was KIA in Korea. He didn’t present his posthumous MoH, either. He pawned that off on Omar Bradley.

  8. MickeyGSM says:

    ANY service member killed in action is not a political platform to push agendas. Thank you

  9. David says:

    Any time I see the term “disrespected” (as in ‘Mother of fallen soldier confirms Trump disprespected her son’) I have a pretty good idea that thug trash of some variety are involved. Given his job, not the son – but I’m not sure about his mother and pretty sure about the Congresswoman involved.

    • 1610desig says:

      Word…”Ebonics” be eroding our raciss English language and shee

    • Fyrfighter says:

      Yeah, just look at the fallen Green Beret’s first name to get an idea about his parents

      • Tony180A says:

        What do you know about the 2 Green Berets parents?

        • Fyrfighter says:

          Nothing other than the fact that those who come up with “creative” names tend to have an agenda. My little brother and his wife are perfect examples of that.

          • Tony180A says:

            Bryan and Dustin are “creative” names??

            OK, if you say so.

          • CPT11A says:

            My daughter has a traditional Irish name, with the traditional spelling. What’s my agenda?

            • Fyrfighter says:

              Tony, the mans name was LaDavid.. that’s creative i the same fashion as the names of many folks in the NFL. Cpt, a traditional Irish name would not be “creative” in most folks opinions, in fact I have a niece named Aeliegh. A rather traditional Irish name i think you’d agree. The only issue I have with that is when her parents get upset with people who mispronounce it. If you choose a name that’s not typical for any culture, you have to assume that people will not know the correct spelling / pronunciation of it. I was talking of people who take an otherwise normal name, and add La, or El, or some other prefix to it, or mash it together wish another name. As has been pointed out on this site before, just because you combine 3 or more syllables, it does not make a name.. exactly the reason that home edition scrabble is often played with those involved in the morning feel good stories. None of this has any bearing on the character of the Green Beret, just an observaton

              • Tony180A says:

                Fyrfighter you said,”Yeah, just look at the fallen Green Beret’s first name to get an idea about his parents”.

                The 2 fallen Green Berets first names are Bryan and Dustin. I wanted to know what insight you had on the parents who’d name their children so creatively.

                • Fyrfighter says:

                  No Tony, one of the fallen was named LaDavid, that’s who’s mother was with the loudmouthed congresswoman.

                  • Tony180A says:

                    I know that. Your original statement referred to fallen Green Beret. Sgt Johnson was not a Green Beret. I just questioned how you could tell so much about the parents agenda when your original statement was bullshit from the start.

                    • Fyrfighter says:

                      Tony, was going off the news reports about Sgt Johnson, if I mistakenly identified him as a Green Beret when he wasn’t, that was my error, and I apologize for it. If you disagree with me that people who give their kids made up, or scrabble worthy names then that is certainly your right, but I maintain that it says a lot about them.

              • CPT11A says:

                I get ya, Fyr. I was mostly just being a smartass. My wife can get kind of pissy with people who don’t learn the pronunciation quickly enough, like one of the receptionists at her pediatrician’s office, who continues to butcher the name. But I try to be more forgiving.

                • Fyrfighter says:

                  CPT, I can totally understand your wifes position, at least at the pediatrician… the people that care for your child should take the time to learn the pronunciation… but my brother and his wife, they get pissy when a stranger gets it wrong.. that’s a bit over the top in my opinion.. they also went through the “hipster book of baby names”(poor little bastard) for their sons name, and then had to come up with a creative misspelling of the name.. and I’m sure they’ll get their panties all in a twist when someone spells it the normal way..

  10. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    There is NO low that the left and liberals will not stoop to.

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    Everything – EVERY DAMNED THING – is used by the lefturds to try to stoke the fire.

    Unfortunately, it does not work.

  12. Perry Gaskill says:

    It wouldn’t be a surprise if Frederica Wilson was in the limo because she smelled an opportunity for political gain. It might also be pointed out she had an active role in events following the shooting of Trayvon Martin who had apparently lived in her district.

    It’s possible Wilson’s interpretation of what President Trump said about Johnson’s death, “He knew what he signed up for,” was selective hearing driven entirely by malice and agenda. But an alternative is that it was also partially a matter of ignorance. People serving in the military do know the risks, and take them anyway on behalf of the nation. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much a textbook definition of bravery and honor.

    Something Frederica The Hat Lady will probably never understand.

    • CPT11A says:

      Yeah. “He knew what he signed up for” becomes a whole different statement when you add, “but he signed up anyway”. Goes from “What, you weren’t ready for this?” to “what an American hero” real quick.

  13. rgr769 says:

    What this stupid congress scrunt and the non Fox-media refuse to accept is that the President was merely espressing that the soldier was heroic by volunteering multiple times for hazardous duty (enlisting, volunteering for Airborne, and volunteering for Special Forces duty). Everyone who jumps out of a perfectly operating aircraft knows he is doing something that could end in death or injury. So in reality, these four men were triple volunteers for hazardous duty. I believe that is what he had in mind, regardless of how the political scrunts attempt to spin it.

  14. E-6 type, 1 ea says:

    Number of Obama White House reps at MG Greene’s (highest ranking person killed in Afghanistan) funeral – 0

    Number of Obama White House reps at Michael Brown’s funeral – 3

    They can go fornicate thyselves.

  15. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    This is my shocked face…

  16. Sj says:

    Find Gen Kelly’s press briefing on You Tube today at around 1500 on the Gold Star matter. Well worth listening to. He was awesome.

  17. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    As I said above, they are willing to dance in the tears of widows to drive a wedge between the folks in military service and their commander in chief.

    That is not a “win the next election” strategy. It is based on “we need them to overthrow this one”.

    And they will double down on this, Mark my words.

    • Denise Williams says:

      I felt and feared the same, until I heard John Kelly’s speech. Any Congress-critter or Lefty-loon dumb enough to continue is committing political suicide. Then again…let them continue.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      “And they will double down on this, Mark my words.”

      I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT about that, but at the same time I think that the more they do so the more they secure a landslide reelection victory for President Trump and the GOP in 2018 and 2020, the true majority of American voters are SO sick and tired of the status quo and that’s what secured President Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, IMHO there is still an anti-establishment sentiment among the electorate and any pol who goes with the inner establishment is committing political suicide. The D-rat Party is going full throttle status quo thus hurting themselves. NO celebrity or lib pol ever had any beef, quip, qualm or problem with President trump until he decided to run for POTUS on the GOP ticket and we can genuinely thank him for causing liberals and the left to truly unmask themselves, parade their true colors and make them show themselves as the shallow, hateful, intolerant and petty little roach TURDS they truly are.

  18. OWB says:

    Family members rightly should be given a lot of latitude when they are in the throes of raw grief. I can overlook nearly anything they say during that time simply because if this mother cared at all about her son, she is cycling in and out of periods that she is not responsible for her emotions.

    A fresh Gold Star Mother is likely very vulnerable to suggestion and manipulation, be it from a member of Congress, the media, or someone else with an agenda. Shame upon anyone and everyone who would drag any grieving family member through additional emotional trauma.

    This is just disgusting.

    Meanwhile, may this mother and her family find people who will walk with her through her grief that are not using her for their own selfish ends.

    • Denise Williams says:

      ^^^this^^^ is the reason that I’ve not seen a single critical comment or remark aimed at the young widow or the mother from my community. We all went through it. We all have blank spots from those first hours, days and weeks. I’ve had people tell me about things of which I have no conscious memory, things one would think I wouldn’t forget. For instance, I have a very fuzzy, sorta memory of my youngest niece being attached to my leg at the wake, but I have absolutely no memory of her mother next to her holding my elbow, or of switching shoes with me at the wake because my feet hurt.

      I have other memories, crystal clear, that can best be described as snapshots out of time and devoid of context. I am grateful that I had the presence of mind, within 24 hours, to designate my brother as the family spokesperson. He handled all the media. I am also grateful for a dear friend, my CAO and a few special others who were my spiritual, emotional and at moments, physical linebackers. Absolutly no way in hell some politician would have gotten near me, particularly close enough to get in the limo.

      It’s a shame this young widow and family didn’t have these protections.

      In all of this, one of the things not being addressed is the damage to the grieving process all this controversy will cause. This family, and the other three families whose loved ones are being ignored, will not be remembered for the sacrifice of their heroes, only for the controversy. They will not even have memories of peaceful, respectful honor that is not at least tinged. I can’t express how sad that makes me.

    • Fyrfighter says:

      Well said OWB

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