Donald Trump returned to the primetime spotlight with a highly anticipated speaking engagement at the North Carolina GOP state convention in Greenville on Saturday night. While millions turned their eyes to the political heavyweight as he laid out his vision for America’s future, it was a heartwrenching story that the former president related about Gold Star mothers that laid bare the heavy responsibilities that come with the presidential office.
“I’d visit soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital, where the doctors are truly fantastic, what they can do,” he said. “I’d see these young people who were blown to pieces, and it’s, it’s just so sad.”
“I’d be at Dover where these magnificent machines, the big cargo planes, and that door would open up and there’d be a coffin in the back. And the military soldiers would take that coffin and walk it off the plane.”
“And I’d be with the parents, an hour before, and we’d be talking,” he went on, “And I’d say to the general in charge, ‘General, the parents seem to be okay’.”
“And he’d say, ‘no, they’re not, sir, they’re not okay’,” Trump continued. “I’d say, ‘General, I’m having a great conversation,’ and the mothers oftentimes would say, ‘oh, my son was such a great football player, sir, he had an arm that was so powerful, he was so strong, he could throw a ball so far, he was such a good player’ or other things.”
“They’d tell me these stories about… they were just so in love with telling the stories about their son or their daughter,” he said. “In some cases, their daughter. And then, I’d look at the General and say, ‘Well, it’s amazing the way they can handle it’. And then the plane would come in and the general would say, ‘Sir, it’s not going to be good’.”
“And that door would open up, that big back door, right?” he continued. “Would open up from this incredible powerful machine that can lift up Army tanks like it’s nothing. And it would open up. And there would be one or two or three or four coffins. And I’d see the same people who were talking to me, so jubilant about their child, how great the child was, would start screaming. Screaming.”
“Screams like I’ve never heard before,” he said. “It was the most terrible thing to watch.”
“The General in charge would say, ‘Sir, you’re going to see things that you maybe will not have seen.’ ‘Like what General?’ He said, ‘mothers and wives and even fathers sometimes breaking in through the military ranks and jumping on top of the coffin’.”
“And I got to see that one time,” Trump continued. “Where a mother was so, just, she was just absolutely, she was devastated. She jumped on and these incredible, extremely fit soldiers are taking that coffin, and would jump onto the coffin. And they would just keep walking, they wouldn’t do a thing. They would just keep walking. And the mother was on the coffin. And this is for Afghanistan, and for Iraq, and for these other places, where so many mistakes were made, where we shouldn’t be. And we can’t do that. We’re moving them out. We’re moving them back.”
“Twenty one years,” he added. “You know, you’ve heard nineteen years, but it’s not nineteen, now it’s twenty one years in Afghanistan. It’s enough. And we haven’t lost a soldier in Afghanistan since January of last year. We haven’t lost a soul. Not one single soldier has been lost.”
“Pretty amazing,” he said to applause from the crowd. “It’s pretty amazing.”
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