Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump became the subject of criticism following his comment that some vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “can’t handle it.”
Trump’s comment came during Monday’s event organized by the Retired American Warriors political action committee. The business mogul was asked about his “commitment to faith-based programs aimed at preventing suicides and helping soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other issues,” WJLA reports.
Donald Trump PTSD Comment: ‘A lot of people can’t handle it’
“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 the 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,” Trump said. “And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it.”
The comment received reproach from many, including David Maulsby, the executive director of the Texas-based PTSD Foundation of America.
“At the very least, it’s a very poor choice of words. PTSD is basically a rewiring of the brain as the result of trauma or prolonged trauma. That is not a reflection of a person’s strength, character, stamina — any of that,” Maulsby said, as reported by WJLA.”Our veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress as a result of their combat need to be encouraged to seek help, and not be told they are weak or deficient in character in any way, shape or form.”
Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, also criticized Trump, saying at a rally, “Where in the hell is [Trump] from?”
Biden then went on to add, “This is deadly earnest.”
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Donald Trump PTSD Comment: Republican presidential nominee criticized by Vice President Joe Biden
As reported by Raw Story, Biden spoke about his son Beau, who served a tour of duty in Iraq, and about another soldier who said he did not want the Silver Star the vice president was trying to pin on him.
“When I went to pin it on him in front of the entire brigade he stood and looked at me and said, ‘Sir I don’t want the medal. I don’t want the medal.’ You know why? He said he died. ‘He died Mr. vice president I don’t want the medal,’” Biden said. “How many nights does that kid go to sleep seeing that image in his head, dealing with it?”
Trump has said one of his top priorities, should he become president, will be to improve veterans’ mental health services.