This past week has shown a nasty feud between Congresswoman Fredrica Wilson and President Trump over a phone call the President made to a fallen soldier's family. Army Sgt. La David Johnson was killed in the African country of Niger about three weeks ago while serving on a mission to train local soldiers to fight against a group linked to ISIS. The debate began when President Trump allegedly told the wife of Sgt. Johnson that “he knew what he signed up for” and Rep. Wilson overheard the conversation. What followed was a total firestorm from both sides, but in my opinion, Rep. Wilson is so hypocritical and out of touch that it's laughable.
First of all, the statement made by President Trump, although taken totally out of context by Rep. Wilson and the mainstream media, is an accurate and powerful one. It is very hard to understand and fathom the mentality of a soldier like Sgt. Johnson. He was a member of the ultra elite Green Berets, one of the greatest fighting units ever created. These soldiers go through the most robust, intense training imaginable and are given the toughest missions our nation has to offer. The mentality of a Green Beret is that of a total warrior mentality. Obviously no one wants to be killed in battle. But in the eyes of a Green Beret, there is no greater honor. It is hard for an ordinary citizen to fathom it, but Sgt. Johnson volunteered to give his life in defense of our nation. He knew that when he signed up he was putting his life on the line, the most unbelievably admirable and courageous thing one can do for their country.
In a show of support for what the President said, former General and current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly gave a riveting press conference shortly after the war of words started. “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war. And when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. That’s what the President tried to say to the four families the other day.” Kelly, whose Marine son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, went on to say that he was “stunned” by the fact that Rep. Wilson was listening in on the conversation, and I couldn’t agree more.
Congresswoman Wilson has flung many insults and false claims at President Trump and General Kelly since the phone call took place. The first sign of total hypocrisy from Rep. Wilson is her record of never supporting veteran-related legislation. In fact, she has voted nine times against bills designed to help veterans, including a bill in 2013 that would have guaranteed benefits to veterans in the event of a government shutdown
This is an example of an elected official so desperate for fame and attention that they politicize something as horrible as a soldier's death. A matter of fact, Rep. Wilson claims she’s “a rock star now.”
Clearly Rep. Wilson hates President Trump and his administration, and its her right to believe so. But to use a phone call to a dead soldier’s wife to get her point across is so awful and disingenuous. Does anyone truly believe she actually cares? I certainly don’t. I hope that Rep. Wilson will get her two seconds of fame and then fade back into Congress, where she will continue to do what she does best, vote against pro-veteran legislation. My second hope, which is far less likely, is that the mainstream media will actually cover a news story honestly sometime soon.
The only silver lining in this nasty dispute is the reminder of the heroes that walk amongst us every single day. The military and the patriots who serve in it are the bedrock of our nation and its ideals. People like Sgt. Johnson and the other soldiers killed in Niger allow me to sit here and write an article about my opinion in complete peace. I am completely honored to be known as their fellow citizen and pray that their families find some peace knowing just how paramount their actions were.
Alexander Grzelak is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.