The condemnations from our military families over Donald Trump’s disgusting attacks on the family of slain war hero Capt. Humayun Khan (201st Forward Support Battalion) are coming quickly and with appropriate fury. On Wednesday, Sue Loudon, the mother of another soldier we lost fighting Bush’s war in Iraq, resoundingly denounced Trump for demeaning Khan’s sacrifice and for insulting his family. Her son, 2nd Lieutenant Christopher E. Loudon of 4th Infantry Division, was killed when an improvised explosive device tore through the improperly shielded undersection of his Humvee in Baghdad, Iraq.
Specifically, she was referring to the absurd remarks that Trump had made where he compared his paying money to develop buildings to Captain Khan’s sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his unit and the civilians around him. “It was ridiculous for him to compare his sacrifice of spending money to Kazir Khan’s son sacrificing his life. I was highly inspired by Kazir Khan speaking at the convention about his son’s sacrifice. It was such a brave and honorable thing to do” said Ms. Loudon. She also proudly endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president, even though she is a Republican.
Ms. Loudon and twenty-one other Gold Star family members (the families of fallen soldiers) signed a letter to Trump demanding an apology for the remarks about the Khan family. “Trump’s mission is to make money. That’s not sacrifice. I lost my son. That’s a lifetime of sacrifice” said Diane Santoriello, mother of 1st Lieutenant Neil Santoriello of 1st Infantry Division, who also lost his life to an improvised explosive device in Khalidiyah, Iraq.
These sons of these women bravely sacrificed their lives fulfilling the orders of the President of the United States, fighting a war that still rages today, fourteen years later. There are no words that can describe the pain of losing their children, and it is reprehensible that a man aspiring to be the President would so callously demean their heroism and insult their families. The horror and anguish of that the Iraq War has wrought on the world shows how important your vote in November truly is – and we cannot risk allowing this ignorant, heartless narcissist to make the decisions that could lead to more dead soldiers and more sobbing families.
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We are all Gold Star Families, who have lost those we love the most in war. Ours is a sacrifice you will never know. Ours is a sacrifice we would never want you to know.
Your recent comments regarding the Khan family were repugnant, and personally offensive to us. When you question a mother’s pain, by implying that her religion, not her grief, kept her from addressing an arena of people, you are attacking us. When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice.
You are not just attacking us, you are cheapening the sacrifice made by those we lost.
You are minimizing the risk our service members make for all of us.
This goes beyond politics. It is about a sense of decency. That kind decency you mock as “political correctness.”
We feel we must speak out and demand you apologize to the Khans, to all Gold Star families, and to all Americans for your offensive, and frankly anti-American, comments.
We hope you will hear us.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.