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Veteran Org Asks Trump For Apology After He Suggests ‘Traumatic Brain Injuries’ Are Not ‘Very Serious … Relative To Other Injuries’ He Has Seen

At the Davos World Economic Forum on Wednesday, President Trump got into an exchange with a reporter about the traumatic brain injuries (TBI) reportedly suffered by U.S. military members during Iran’s retaliatory strike following the killing of Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani by the United States.
REPORTER: Mr. President, a question on Iran. Initially, you said repeatedly to Americans that after Iran retaliated for the Soleimani strike, no Americans were injured. We now know at least 11 US service men were airlifted from Iraq. Can you explain the discrepancy?
TRUMP: No. I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report it is not very serious, not very serious. REPORTER: So you don’t think that [their] potential traumatic brain injury is serious?
TRUMP: They told me about it numerous days later. You’d have to ask Department of Defense. No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen. I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I’ve seen people with no legs and with no arms. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war. In fact, many cases – put those bombs, put there by Soleimani, who’s no longer with us. I consider them to be really bad injuries. No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no.

In response to the president’s comments, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander William Schmitz issued the following statement on Friday:
In light of today’s announcement from the defense department that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s retaliatory strike and President Trump’s remarks which minimized these troops’ injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter.
TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly. TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue – all injuries that come with both short- and long-term effects.
The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks. And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment.
Reuters reports that according to the Pentagon, “on Friday … 34 service members had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following missile strikes by Iran” on the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq.
The new tally surpasses what was previously announced to have been the total number of traumatic brain injuries following the strike.
A Pentagon spokesperson stated that 17 of the injured are already back in Iraq on duty, eight who had been taken to Germany are now in the United States (some of whom are at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), and nine are still in Germany “undergoing evaluations and treatment.”
As of publication, President Trump has not responded to the apology request from the VFW.

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