William ‘Ryan’ Owens The widow of the Navy SEAL killed in a Yemen raid last month was honored with a standing ovation during President Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday — prompting her eyes to fill with tears while glancing heavenward as if she were speaking to her late husband.
“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, widow of a US Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens,” Trump said. “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our nation.”
Owens, seated next to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, stood up and acknowledged the applause, growing emotional as the president praised her husband.
“I just spoke to [Defense Secretary] General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy,’ ” he added.
“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you,” Trump said, as the audience members — Democrats and Republicans alike in perhaps their only show of unity — stood again.
“Thank you,” Carryn Owens mouthed at Trump while also thanking those sitting nearby.
But Trump wasn’t done yet: “For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country and for our freedom. We will never forget him,” he added, saying the late SEAL was likely happy in heaven because the chamber “broke a record” for the length of its applause.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, standing just behind Trump, could be seen wiping away tears.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump seemed to blame the military for Owens’ death. During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” the commander in chief repeatedly said “they” — meaning the military — were at fault for the death of Owens, whose dad, Bill, refused to appear with Trump when his son’s body was returned to the United States.
“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” Trump said. “They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do. The generals — who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”
Trump also said he could understand why Bill Owens would not want to meet with him.
“I can understand people saying that. I’d feel, ‘What’s worse? There’s nothing worse,’ ” the president noted.
Bill Owens had blasted Trump for authorizing the raid barely a week into his presidency.
“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration?” he said.
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