The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is calling on President Donald Trump to apologize to military members for his "misguided" remarks that minimized the severity of injuries resulting from a missile attack by Iran earlier this month.
The Pentagon said Friday that 34 U.S. service members were diagnosed with concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) after the Jan. 8 attack on an Iraqi base.
At a news conference earlier last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump had downplayed the significance of those injuries, saying, "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."
In a statement on the VFW website, William Schmitz, the group's national commander, said his organization "cannot stand idle on this matter."
"The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks," Schmitz said. "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."
"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," Schmitz said.
At a Friday news conference, a Pentagon spokesman said eight service members injured in Iraq who had been sent to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany have since returned to the United States for additional treatment, while nine others remain in Germany. The other 17, who were diagnosed with concussions, have returned to duty.
This article is written by Shawne Wickham from The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.