- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Veterans of Foreign Wars sought an apology Friday from President Trump for having “minimized” the injuries sustained by U.S troops hurt in an Iranian missile strike this month.

William “Doc” Schmitz, the VFW’s national commander, said the veteran’s group expected an apology from the president in light of the Pentagon reporting that 34 members of the U.S. military suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the attack, which Mr. Trump described earlier this week as having only caused “headaches and a couple of other things.”

The VFW “cannot stand idle on this matter,” Mr. Schmitz said in a statement, adding that TBI is a “serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly.”

SEE ALSO: 34 U.S. troops suffered brain injuries in Iranian attack, Pentagon says

“The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks,” added Mr. Schmitz. “And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment.”

Conducted in retaliation for the killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani, more than a dozen missiles were launched at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops days later on Jan. 7.

Mr. Trump initially said no Americans were injured in the attack, but the Pentagon announced last week that at least 11 U.S. service members were being treated for concussion symptoms.

Asked on Wednesday about the Americans hurt in the attack, Mr. Trump downplayed their injuries as “not very serious.”

“I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious,” Mr. Trump said during a press conference held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” Mr. Trump added. “I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops.”

The Pentagon subsequently announced Friday that 34 troops injured in the Iranian attack have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.

The White House did not immediately return a message sent over the weekend seeking its reaction to the VFW’s statement.

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