Our tweet-happy president just mindlessly retweeted a photo of a widow of a soldier with her baby at the grave of her husband with the words, “This is why we fight,” with this own caption: “So beautiful…Show this to the NFL players who still kneel.”
So beautiful….Show this picture to the NFL players who still kneel! https://t.co/tJLM1tvbvb
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
His politicization of this widow in her grief earned Donald Trump a Twitter storm of anger and criticism from other military families who don’t appreciate him exploiting this woman and child – whom he does not identify – and using a photo he appears to think is current. It’s not.
For Seana Arrechaga, a widow in Franklin, Tennessee, whose 29-year-old husband was an Army Ranger killed in 2011, it was just too much political cynicism.
This. If you're going to politicize a widow and her hero, at least learn their names and story first. https://t.co/d6RysM0Z9e
— Seana Arrechaga (@SeanaArrechaga) January 4, 2018
The woman in the picture is Jenn Budenz, a 32-year-old widow in San Diego, California, who is pictured with her child at the Miramar National Cemetery – in 2014.
The photo appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of an article about people who regularly go there because of the loss of military spouses.
In Budenz’s case, she is at the grave of her husband, Major Andrew Budenz, who was a Marine c-130 pilot, killed three years ago in a motorcycle accident. She was pregnant at the time of his death and has since taken her child to her father’s graveside every day.
Budenz told the Union-Tribute that this is where she feels her husband’s spirit.
Trump was also criticized for using the photo to attack NFL players, which is unrelated to this widow and child.
It is shameful that Trump used this photo to further his attempts to squash protests of police brutality. If he wants to help vets, he shouldn't defund assistance programs and VA resources.
— Angela Altman (@altman_angela) January 4, 2018
The point, of course, is that Trump is heartless in his exploitation of the military – in which he never served – taking advantage of a widow and child he never met and knew nothing about.