Northland Gold Star Parents Weigh-in on Trump Controversy

Heidi Enninga
August 02, 2016 07:30 PM

Criticism over Donald Trump's comments about a grieving, Gold Star family continues to multiply with two Northland Gold Star parents are calling for an apology. 

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Several high-profile Republicans as well as veterans groups have denounced Trump's statements about the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, an Army captain killed while fighting in Iraq.

His father, Khizr Khan, gave an emotional speech and tribute at last week's Democratic National Convention. 

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one," Khizr Khan fired at the Republican nominee.  

The Gold Star father's comments prompted a response from Donald Trump. In an interview with ABC News, Trump defended himself.

"I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I've work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs," Trump said.

Now, a Kerrick Gold Star mom and former DFL state senator said she has to speak out. 

"To call the pleasure of providing jobs for people a sacrifice and to equate that to burying one's child is beyond comprehension. It is destructive and tyrannical," Becky Lourey said. 

Eleven years ago, Lourey laid her son, Army helicopter pilot Matt Lourey to rest. Still grieving, she said Trump has no empathy for sacrifices military families make. 

"The irony is that my son died protecting Donald Trump's right to speak, and even his right to run for president," Lourey said. 

In that same interview, Trump had more to say, targeting the the Khan's religion and questioning why Ghazala Khan didn't speak. 

"If you look at his wife, She had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say," Trump said. 

Another Gold Star parent, Bruce Vrooman of Superior while Trump could have been more sensitive, he didn't hear Trump say anything disparaging about the Kahn family. 

"Nobody that I've heard has ever said Muslims don't serve in the military with honor," Vrooman said. 

Vrooman said Trump has legitimate concerns about radical Islam and had a right to respond to their political statement which centered around that topic. 

Eveleth Gold Star mom Cheryl Softich lost her son Noah who served in Iraq twice, and called Trump's comment "out of line."

"So what if she kept quiet and let her husband speak. My husband stays quiet and I speak. Trump does not seem to have enough compassion for those men and women that protect our country," Softich said. "The parents of the fallen suffer daily and never recover from the loss."

Trump tweeted that he does believe that Capt. Khan is an American hero and that "this is about radical Islamic terror" and the failure to eradicate it.


Heidi Enninga

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