At a campaign event for Hillary Clinton in Florida, the Vice President, whose late son Beau was an Iraq veteran, slammed Trump for implying that PTSD victims “can’t handle” the stresses of life after war.
The vice president shared the story of when he was asked to award a young captain a silver medal for pulling someone out of a burning Humvee in Iraq.
Biden said, “When I went to pin it on him in front of the entire brigade, and he stood and he looked at me and said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the medal. I don’t want the medal. You know why? ‘Cause he died. He died, Mr. Vice President. I don’t want the medal.’ “
He continued, “How many nights does that kid go to sleep seeing that image in his head, dealing with it?”
During a campaign event at the Retired American Warriors PAC in Northern Virginia on Monday, Trump incited controversy once again as he addressed post-traumatic stress disorder and veterans’ suicides.
“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 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,” he said. “They see horror stories, they see events you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it.”
While addressing a crowd that same evening, Biden explained that every day he has his staff contact the Department of Defense make sure he is up-to-date on the troops. He then explained that the number of U.S. troops who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq totaled 6,753 — “Not plus-6,000, not 6,700, 6,753. Because every one of those warriors left behind an entire family, a community, for us.”
He added that there was also 52,419 wounded, but the true amount was so much more.
“As a veteran can tell you, over 200,000 coming home with unseen wounds,” he said.
Biden also criticized Trump for his seeming ignorance about the difficulties many veterans face.
“I don’t think he was trying to be mean,” he said. “He’s just so thoroughly, completely uninformed.”