“I want an investigation. …The government owes my son an investigation,” demanded Gold Star father Bill Owens during his first interview following his son’s death.
The January raid by Navy SEAL Team 6 in central Yemen resulted in the first known combat death during President Donald Trump’s administration.
White House Deputy Press Secretary told ABC’s This Week that the president would likely support an investigation.
“I haven’t had the chance to speak with him directly about that, but I would imagine that he would be supportive of that,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Owens, a veteran himself, questioned the wisdom of approving this mission so early into Trump’s administration.
“For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen – everything was missiles and drones – because there was not a target worth one American life Now, all of the sudden we had to make this grand display?”
The grieving father pleaded, “Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why?”
“We are forever in his son’s debt,” Sanders said. “I know that he paid the ultimate sacrifice when he went on that mission. And I know that the mission has a lot of different critics, but it did yield a substantial amount of very important intel and resources that helped save American lives and other lives.”
Trump visited Dover Air Force Base to meet with Owens and his family when his son’s body was repatriated. But, Owens told the chaplain that he did not want to meet with the president.
“I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him,” Owens said.
Owens was also disturbed by then candidate Trump’s treatment of another Gold Star family during last year’s presidential campaign.
CNN has reported that three investigations are active regarding the SEAL Team 6 operation. One investigation will look into the death of civilians, a second will investigate the cause of an aircraft’s crash landing during the operation and a third to look into the death of Owens’ son.
According to the Pentagon Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens and three other service members died during an operation in Yemen on Jan. 28 during the raid on an al-Qaeda compound which also resulted in the death of at least 25 others.
Owens was a 36-year-old husband and father. According to the Chicago Tribune he dreamed of being a Navy SEAL since he was in high school.
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