Arnold Wright, the father of Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright who was killed with three other soldiers in an attack in Niger on October 4, spoke to Time Magazine on Wednesday about a condolence call he received from President Donald Trump on Tuesday and his thoughts on what his son knew when he volunteered for military service. Wright is an Army veteran as are his wife and another son. Wright blasted the controversy over the condolence call Trump made to the Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson who was also killed in the Niger attack. Wright’s comments and observations are 180 degrees opposite of the highly negative experience reported by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) about Johnson’s talk with Trump.
Rep. Wilson accused Trump of saying to Myeshia Johnson, “He knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.” Wilson later accused Trump of a cover-up and said the Niger attack would become “Trump’s Benghazi”.
Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright.
Arnold Wright earlier spoke to CBS News , reporting his call with Trump lasted about twenty minutes with Wright doing most of the talking, focusing on his concerns over lack of air cover for his son’s patrol. Wright said Trump was “real cordial” and he was confident Trump would look in to the lack of air cover.
In his interview with Time, Wright blasted the controversy surrounding Trump’s call to Myeshia Johnson, saying the focus should be on his son and the kind of man he was and that he “died in a bad situation that needs to be changed”.
…Arnold Wright, the father of the late Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, said he and Trump spoke for about 20 minutes, and that Trump mostly listened.
“He talked to me about the loss of my son and how he served with honor and dignity and he just wanted to give me a call to thank me,” Arnold Wright told TIME in a phone interview. “I told him the kind of man Dustin was. We talked about his deployment. … We got troops out there with no air cover. There are still teams in the country. That was the main point that was the conversation.”
Arnold Wright said he had no qualms about the fact that Trump’s phone call came nearly two weeks after his son’s death was announced…
“The tone was great,” Wright said. “His comments were appropriate.”
When pressed if Trump had said something similar to him, Wright said twice that Trump did not, adding that he didn’t see anything problematic about it anyway.
“I’ll say it: my son knew what he signed up for. He signed up to be a green beret. He had no illusions about what that meant,” said Wright, a military veteran himself. “My son came from a military family with a tradition that dates back to 1812. He fully knew what it means to serve and the risk involved.”
Wright, who declined to say whether he supported Trump in the 2016 election, said the focus should be on the lost soldiers and not Trump’s response.
“This isn’t about Donald Trump and this isn’t about a damn phone call,” he said. “This is about my son and the kind of man he was. He died in a bad situation that needs to be changed. And he’s not coming back home.”