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Grief And Sacrifice Are Not Political Issues

By Linda Stockton

President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time last night. While many, if not most, people thought the rhetoric would descend down the rabbit hole of crowd size or fake news, it was actually a well constructed and well-delivered speech which was, for the most part, conservative and measured. The most memorable and indeed, emotional moment was the tribute to fallen US Navy SEAL Ryan Owens and the recognition of his widow, Carryn Owens, in the gallery. Sadly, this moment is also, now, one of debate and contention. To be perfectly blunt and crystal clear: This. Is. Wrong. Not in poor taste, not just inappropriate, not misguided, not misunderstood or any other softening of the fact that it is pure and simply: WRONG.

A life given in honor for our country should never be politicized…EVER.

The debate began immediately when former Clinton Aide Dan Grilo tweeted out the following:

The backlash was immediate and Grilo tried to defend, then apologize for the tweet…but the damage was done and sadly, others followed suit claiming that President Trump was “exploiting” Mrs. Owens to detract from the failure of the mission or to gain political points by showing compassion where there was none.

This is despicable.

Anyone and I mean ANYONE, who has lost someone in the defense of our country deserves our complete and unwavering respect and full attention without ANY attempt to diminish their grief by assigning political motives to the recognition of their sacrifice. The blind hatred of President Trump is an absolutely shameful excuse to discount Carryn Owens and her obvious loss and suffering or to disregard Navy Seal Owens’ ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Mary Katharine Ham, a writer for the Federalist, and a widow of one year with two small children reacted on twitter with a thread which was heartfelt and moving. The link is here and I urge readers to read the entire thread.

This article wraps up with a personal note: I have two sons in law who served under Presidents Bush and Obama in the Military. My husband is retired from the U.S. Air Force. He served under Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush as his Commanders in Chief. All have done and are doing their honor bound duty to serve their country regardless of their political beliefs…which are varied. They all have one thing in common. They would all die for this country. The other thing they have in common is that their wives, myself and my two daughters, would be shattered and grief stricken were that to happen.

But we would be proud of them. And we would stand proudly before Congress, the President and the Nation to accept the honor which our husband brought upon us and our families. We would also be horrified and feel a deep betrayal by the country we all love were we to be met with the ignorance and cruelty that has been displayed by some. Check your priorities. If your political leanings are dictating your emotions, your compassion…your very humanity…you may need to step back and recalibrate. When we as a society allow our politics to overrule our core humanness, our God-given capacity to have concern and sympathy one for another, then our ability to live in peace and tranquility ceases to exist.

***UPDATE -Dan Grilo, the former Clinton volunteer whose tweet was cited in this piece has been fired by his employer subsequent to his actions

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10 Comments on Grief And Sacrifice Are Not Political Issues

  1. So this tweet by Dan Grilo would be similar to Donald Trump accusing the Khans of ulterior motives? If one is wrong (and I sincerely believe it is – then both are wrong).

    • Yes. The Headline does not say that Grief and Sacrifice are not Political Issues “IF”. . . It is unequivocal. It is now a disgusting ploy used by BOTH parties and has become all the more vile over the years. I believe it started out genuinely with Reagan trying to recognize bravery but has been so warped and skewed that it has lost all honor and meaning and it needs to stop. By even bringing Trumps cruel tweet into the convo here, you have further proven my point. Loss is not about which party can claim to either: 1) have the most servicemen die under their watch or:2) have the most egregious commentary about those deaths. It is not about politics AT ALL. It is about the patriotism, honor, sacrifice and heroism of these brave service men and women and their families who are willing to put their lives down to defend our country and its people. That is all. There is nothing more noble or noteworthy. The rest is just noise. Thank you for reading!

  2. Of course she deserved the recognition. But she was also exploited. Her grief was painful to watch and the applause went on much too long — keeping her skewered in the spotlight. It seemed as though Trump was leading the applause and of course no one wanted to stop clapping before he did. And then he made some comment about Owens’ “record,” as though proud the applause had lasted so (deliberately?) long.

    • Yes…her grief was painful to watch. Death of a loved one IS painful. If she was exploited, so what? It. Doesn’t. Matter. What matters is HER. And her brave husband. That is the point. Just stop with the political crap. It is not about you, or Trump, or left or right. I don’t care, she doesn’t care…no one should care about what you or anyone thinks politically. It is not for you or anyone else to say if the applause was too long or to assign political motive to any of it. Your comment speaks exactly to my point. Her grief and Ryan Owens sacrifice is real and honest and truly American. Unlike all of this garbage about exploitation and ulterior designs. Don’t feed the ignorance and hate. Just respect the honor and duty of this brave Seal and his widow and for the love of God, let your bias and hatred go. Thanks for reading.

      • Of course she was exploited. Every president who brings in some “average citizen” as a prop for a human interest story is exploiting that person. It’s not exclusive to a particular president or party. And my reaction was not political; it was intense, painful empathy. As long as we, in our own ignorance, keep accusing the other side of ignorance and hate, the nation will never heal.

      • It’s a shame that you believe that this strong, brave, independent American woman is so fragile and ignorant that she would allow herself to be used or exploited in any way. If you know military wives, you know they are not the type of women to be used and exploited. Your argument is pointless and does nothing but further the hate agenda while disregarding this amazing woman’s strength and struggle. It is incredibly sad that the hatred for Trump has caused normally decent, reasonable people to lose any semblence of reality. Good luck to you and I hope your Trump induced trauma subsides soon so that you can begin to see all that is good in life. God bless you.

      • saoirse62 // March 8, 2017 at 3:58 pm //

        I really admire people like Linda Stockton. What you have written here is simply brilliant and puts a good many people in their place. I agree with everything you have written, and its people like you that will make this world a better place. Many of you should sit down, read what Linda has to say again, and realise that every single word was the truth, said with compassion, meaning and thoughtfulness. Shame on anyone that disagrees with her very valid points.

      • Wow…thank you! Such kind words. 🙂

  3. Alex santangelo // March 2, 2017 at 4:05 am // Reply

    You’re one sick person. The hatred all of you write shows you’re all clearly crazy in a dangerous way.

    • Please point out specifically where I have advocated for or promoted hat in any one of my pieces and I will pleased to discuss that with you. Thanks for contacting us.

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