Gold Star Husband's Powerful Story of His Meeting With Trump: He Absolutely Respects Our Service

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Anyone who has paid any attention to President Donald Trump has known about his appreciation for the military and law enforcement. It’s one of those rocks upon which he stands.

That’s why The Atlantic story claiming he made anti-military remarks from “anonymous sources” had anyone who understood that about Trump just going, “That’s such a lie.”

If you check out the guest list at The Atlantic Festival, it may explain why. Speakers range from Hillary Clinton to Alicia Garza, one of the co-founders of BLM. As my colleague Brad Slager wrote, a virtual rogue’s gallery of virtually all leftist politicians, actors, and activists.

A flood of people have come forward and supported President Trump on the issue — even John Bolton, who is no friend of the President — saying they were there at the time and he said no such thing. So I’m not even going to bother to repeat the nonsense.

But I wanted to write about what a Gold Star husband, Joe Kent, said about the President and how Trump treated him at the worst moment of his life: having to receive his wife’s body in Dover after she had been killed by an ISIS suicide bomber during a mission in Syria in January 2019.

Kent described how Trump came in to speak with him, according to NBC. You should read the whole story here. But here are some excerpts on which I wanted to concentrate.

But (I am told) I thanked President Trump, and I remember he held eye contact with me. And in his eyes, I could see — unmistakably — the same pain I’d seen in the eyes of other senior leaders who ultimately bear the responsibility for sending men and women to their deaths in combat.

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.

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.

While that shows great kindness, Kent then mentioned something that I don’t think I’ve ever heard in descriptions of a president in such a situation.

Then the president did something that I did not expect: He asked me what I thought about Syria and what we were doing there. He talked to me — a Green Beret and a combat veteran, not some expert at the Pentagon or a think tank — about the wisdom leaving troops in harm’s way once ISIS’ territorial caliphate had been destroyed. It was clear to me that he was deeply conflicted about whether staying in Syria was worth the lives lost — Shannon and her three colleagues — on that day in January.

This is something else that anyone who has followed Trump knows about him. He hasn’t hesitated to take out enemies of the United States like Qassem Soleimani and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. But as Kent noted, putting Americans in harm’s way is not a light issue with him; he even wants to know what they think, because of the great potential cost.

That’s how much American lives mean to him.

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.

President Trump’s actions have shown our troops more respect than any president in my lifetime. 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. [….]

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.

Amen. That’s real care.