December 8, 2022

Trump tweeted a photo of a grieving wife. A military widow just brilliantly shut him down

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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.”


Cory Jones is a Trump fan and student at Jerry Falwell’s religious-oriented Liberty University. It is unlikely Trump knew that, but was just using the three-year-old picture for political purposes.

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.

It bothered Arrechaga that Trump was just using the photo for his own puerile political purposes without knowing anything about that woman’s story.

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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.

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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. 

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.

Benjamin Locke

Benjamin Locke is a retired college professor with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor and Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from the European School of Management.

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