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The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation's largest veterans group, is asking President Trump to apologize for minimizing the injuries of troops sustained in an attack from Iran on a U.S. base in Iraq.
Context: Iran attacked a U.S. base in Iraq after an American drone killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Trump had originally said U.S. soldiers didn't suffer any injuries, but the Pentagon confirmed on Friday that 34 soldiers suffered from traumatic brain injuries.
- Trump said at a news conference earlier this week that he did not consider the injuries very serious.
- "I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things. No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” the Wall Street Journal quotes the president as saying. “I’ve seen people with no legs and no arms.”
What they're saying:
"In light of today's announcement from the Defense Department that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries [TBI] 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."— William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW National Commander
The White House declined to comment.