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A gold star family member's thoughts on Trump

Updated on August 1, 2016

Khizr Khan's speech at the Democratic National Convention, and presidential candidate Donald Trunp's response has been seeing a lot of air time lately. As a fellow gold star family member I found I could not sit and observe what was going on, I needed to speak out somewhere.

My father was an air force captain who piloted an A-10. In 1989 when his plane experienced a malfunction he had two options: eject safely, or let his plane go down in a populated area. He did not eject. He was survived by a wife and two children, I was three years old.

When Mr Khan spoke at the DNC and talked about sacrifice I knew what he meant. I understood. Donald Trump did not. He showed no ability to empathize with Mr Khan. When asked about the remarks Mr Trump did not acknowledge the Khan's situation at all. He made no note about the difficulty their family must have had in losing a son like that. Instead he tried to one up them about how great his sacrifices have been. That he worked hard to build his business.

WHAT?! that is not a sacrifice. Hundreds of millions of Americans work hard every single day. That is the baseline. My mother had to build her own career, while raising two children, on top of dealing with a husband that went off one day to never return. My sister and I had to go without something many people take for granted. Furthermore we did all this without the benefit of being a billionaire heir. Mr Trump was going to be fantastically wealthy regardless of what he did. His success was a forgone conclusion.

Then on top of this he also disparaged Mrs Khan because she was too emotionally devastated by the loss of her son to speak at the convention. This, again, shows a total lack of empathy. It probably never even occurred to Mr Trump that she might feel this way.

No, Mrs Khan's presence at the stage was to give her husband the emotional strength to speak. And his speech was not written by anyone. I know this because there was no written speech, he did not use a teleprompter.

This attitude is... reprehensible. How can you trust a man to be commander-in-chief when he is totally detached from what his soldiers are doing? How can you expect a man to weigh the choice of war when he cares not for the lives of soldiers and their families? To Mr trump we might as well be toy soldiers, to be played with at his whim.

Mr Trump has insulted many different groups of people in his bid to become president. This is one group that he will not toss a couple of insulting comments at and move on. It will not be forgotten.


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