Tags: gold star | families | military | soldiers

'Politicization of Gold Star Families' Has to End, Advocates Say

'Politicization of Gold Star Families' Has to End, Advocates Say
The family of Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion drops roses into his gravesite during the reinternment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2017 05:25 PM

Gold Star families should be left out of politics, advocates are urging.

"There are some things that have to transcend politics," Ryan Manion, president of the Travis Manion Foundation, told Military Times.

Manion, whose brother Travis was killed in Iraq in 2007, says she is concerned the sacrifices of fallen service members and their families are being overshadowed by the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump's handling of condolences related to the deaths of four soldiers in Niger, Military Times reported.

"Beyond the back and forth going on right now, I'm worried about the politicization of Gold Star families that is happening," Manion said. "We never saw this in the past."

Officials from Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors also released a statement calling for respect for the families of fallen soldiers, Military Times reported.

"While there is no one way to acknowledge the death, what is important for the family is that the president acknowledges the life and service of their loved one, and expresses gratitude on behalf of the nation," Bonnie Carroll, founder of the group, said in the statement, Military Times reported.

"Just as there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is no right or wrong way to express one's condolences. What matters is that we honor the lives and the sacrifice, and provide support for all grieving families so no one has to walk such a difficult journey alone."

Manion thinks the 2016 campaign triggered the current controversy — but believes both sides share the blame.

"What we want to do now is try to find a way to shift the narrative away from using Gold Star families as talking points in political fights," she told Military Times.

"Maybe we can make this less of a conversation about grieving families and more about their incredible stories," she said.

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Ryan Manion, whose brother Travis was killed in Iraq in 2007, is concerned the sacrifices of fallen service members and their families are being overshadowed by the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump's handling of condolences, Military Times reported.
gold star, families, military, soldiers
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2017-25-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 05:25 PM
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