An Active Duty Family Exclusive
Over the years, it has become expected that a military family member or service member be called out as a part of a national speech. It was not surprising to see Carryn Owens, widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, sitting in the audience of President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress. The President addressed her when he paused to honor her husband who died during a raid in Yemen last month. It was emotional to see the spouse of a fallen Navy SEAL accept the applause of the entire House chamber. You could see her looking up and speaking to her love as the clapping continued for many minutes. A testament to her strength as I imagine, she probably does not typically deal with this sort of attention in her daily life. It went on for long enough to feel it. To feel her sacrifice and her husband’s sacrifice.
It is easy for a tribute like this to feel exploitative. I was refreshed to see President Trump genuinely honor Chief Special Warfare Operator Owens in sharing his story. The President’s daughter, Ivanka, seated next to Mrs. Owens, clapped for her while not encroaching on her space during the applause. This was about the Owens family and the memory of a fallen military hero, not President Trump. This is a breath of fresh air to this military spouse. This was the moment in last night’s speech that felt the most real.
I feel like for the first time in many years, we have a President who truly appreciates the sacrifice that military families make in their service to the country.
By: Elisa Judy
Cynthia Shaffer, National Editor, Reel Urban News contributed to this article.