HERNDON, Virginia (AP) — Donald Trump is drawing scorn from veterans’ groups after he suggested that soldiers who suffer from mental health issues might not be as strong as those who don’t.

Trump was speaking at an event organized by the Retired American Warriors political action committee Monday when he was asked about his commitment to faith-based programs aimed at preventing suicides and helping soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other issues.

“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,” he said.

“And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it,” he added.

The comment drew condemnation from critics as well as veterans’ groups that have been working for years to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues in an effort to encourage soldiers to seek treatment.

David Maulsby, the executive director of the Texas-based PTSD Foundation of America, told The Associated Press that, at first, he hoped Trump’s remarks had been taken out of context. But after watching a recording of the exchange, he said the Republican nominee’s words were detrimental to veterans struggling with PTSD symptoms.

“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.

“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,” he said.

Zach Iscol, a Marine veteran and executive director of the nonprofit Headstrong Project, which helps provide free care for veterans suffering from PTSD, said Trump’s comments weren’t “just wrong, they’re dangerous.”

“The biggest barrier we have to people getting help is the stigma of getting help,” he said. “It just shows a complete misunderstanding of what post-traumatic stress disorder is.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a top Trump adviser, responded with a statement that accused the media of taking the GOP nominee’s words out of context “to deceive voters and veterans.”

Flynn said Trump has been highlighting the challenges veterans face when returning home and “has always respected the service and sacrifice of our military men and women.”

Trump has vowed to make improving veterans’ mental health services a top priority if he makes it to the White House.

Trump previously angered veterans when he suggested that Sen. John McCain, a former POW, was only considered a war hero because he was captured.

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(Photo: AP)

5 thoughts on “Trump Angers With Suggestion That Vets With PTSD Are Weak

  1. common on said:

    He is not downing their man/woman hood or saying they are incapable, the rigorous physical training for our arm forces do not mean you are mentally capable of handling the atrocities of war, how do our armed forces pay close attention to mental evaluations of our men and women? many of them probably should not have been there and a lot of lives saved. We ourselves squirm and can’t handle many terrible things that go on in life, we just can’t get it out of our heads it was to traumatic and we become traumatize by what we see and hear. Our armed forces have lied and hid many things from us. Maybe a lot of our men and women should not be in the arm forces but they put them in there anyway and have caused lots of unnecessary deaths and problems.

    • specialt757 on said:

      come on man…JUMP OFF! If he had said “As president, I vow to make improvements to veterans suffering from the mental affects of war, etc…” then maybe it would have gone over better. He can’t possibly know how someone suffering for PTSD is feeling or what they’ve seen, he’s never served anyone but himself. The orange hitler is a self-serving ass who doesn’t know when to STFU.

  2. common on said:

    This just may hold some weight, some truth to this, America’s arm forces have done a poor job enlisting our service men and women, little attention have been given to the mental ability to handle the atrocities of war, being able to pass the physical rigorous training for armed services have been confused with being able to handle wars. I would like to be see more mental test and evaluation for our armed forces.

  3. Dang what a dummy. Trump has probably never even spoken to someone suffering from PTSD. Gosh! and this is who you want as your president, come on yall it’s still time, jump off.

  4. CHUMP really needs to STFU!!!!!!!

    Since his POS received a medical deferment rather than serve his country during the Vietnam War- CHUMP must stop DISRESPECTING the Veteran’s who did SERVE!!!!!!!!

    CHUMP wouldn’t know what PTSD was if it crawled up his asshole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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