President Joe Biden may not have the time to give attention and respect to the families who lost loved ones in the botched withdrawal of Afghanistan, but former President Donald Trump plans to meet with some Gold Star families to offer his support and condolences. According to a report by Breitbart, Trump and GOP Representative Michael Waltz were scheduled to meet with these families at Trump’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey. The meeting was planned to take place one day after some of the families testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., and on the second anniversary of the last American plane leaving Afghanistan.
During the congressional hearing, families expressed their disappointment with President Biden’s administration for the botched withdrawal and the Kabul airport bombing that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. troops. Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz who died in the bombing, criticized Biden for not publicly acknowledging the fallen soldiers. “Our so-called leader can’t even utter their names in public – not even once,” said Schmitz. He further expressed his disappointment in Biden’s treatment of Gold Star families, calling it cowardly and disgusting.
Jaclyn Schmitz, Jared Schmitz’s stepmother, read the names of the 13 troops who died in the bombing and emphasized that they were more than just casualties of war; they were sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters who deserved information and collaboration from all political parties. Greg Page, the father of Marine Cpl. Daegan W. Page, also criticized the administration for its duplicity and lack of transparency regarding the attack and the relationship with the Taliban.
In contrast to Biden’s lack of interaction with Gold Star families, Trump and Waltz aimed to provide the attention and respect that these families deserve. Waltz, who has had experience with Gold Star families, described their anger and grief and expressed his commitment to supporting them. A Trump campaign official reaffirmed Trump’s commitment to the military and their families, contrasting it with Biden’s perceived lack of respect and his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Although the media seems to have largely forgotten about the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan due to other ongoing crises, the two-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul and the bombing serves as a reminder of Biden’s actions. Mark Schmitz, in his testimony, highlighted the impact it had on his identity as a father, husband, and now a Gold Star dad, a title no one desires.
It is evident that President Biden’s decision to make the withdrawal unconditional and the ensuing chaos falls under his responsibility. If he fails to answer to the families affected by his decision-making, it is crucial for a presidential candidate to step up and address their concerns. These Gold Star families should not be forgotten, and it is essential for America as a whole to remember the consequences of Biden’s actions.