Presidential phone calls don’t fix anything

by Brandon Biagini, COLUMNIST

30 October 2017


President Trump finds himself entangled in even more controversy following a phone call he had with the widow of an Army Green Beret killed earlier this month in Niger. On October 4th, La David Johnson and three other Green Berets were killed when ambushed by ISIS forces in the African country of Niger according to a report published by the New York Times on October 18th.

Weeks later, Trump made phone calls to the families of the four soldiers that lost their lives. During his phone call with Myeisha Johnson, wife of Sgt. La David Johnson, Trump was accused of saying “he knew what he signed up for,” according to the same report.

A soldier’s death is truly terrible news to receive. Yet thanks to our toxic political environment nowadays, an American hero is now in the middle of battle between political opponents.

This entire situation is disgusting. There are some things that should be kept out of politics. I thought that the country had the decency not to politicize the death of service members. As a future soldier, I am disappointed, and we should all be.

Each soldier, marine, sailor, and airman has her or his own reasons for joining the military. One of the biggest decisions in our life is the choice to raise our right hand and swear to protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

When I enlisted in April of 2017 in the army, I signed up to do whatever necessary to make sure my little sister had the opportunity to live in the greatest country in the world. If that meant dying, then it meant dying.

I pray to God that I don’t have to come home under an American flag. I don’t want to hurt my loved ones like that. If that day comes, I just hope I’m remembered for who I was and what I did. That is exactly why I never would want my family to receive a call from the President.

The President doesn’t really know who I am or what I’ve done.

The President won’t be fighting alongside me.

The President doesn’t understand what it’s like to raise his hand and swear to give his life for this country and its people.

If I die, I want my brothers and sisters in arms to be the ones calling my family and telling them how they feel. They understand what it all means, and they know me.

A call from the President does little, if anything, to help a family mourn.

General John Kelly held a press conference October 19th, giving his opinion on the subject.

“Typically the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls a family can imagine, and that is from their buddies … Those are the only phone calls that really matter,” Kelly said, as reported by the White House on October 19th.

Four brave Americans died defending all of us.

They sacrificed everything.

Children have to grow up without their fathers.

Wives have to wake up widows.

Parents have to wake up and attend the funerals of their children.

But America needs to wake up as well and see that these things are happening with or without the callous opinions revolving around a phone call.

Let’s make sure that our last memories of these brave men are not that of a controversy regarding Trump but of what they did and the sacrifices they made for the country they loved.



Brandon Biagini is a columnist for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the HOWL

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