Barely a month after the death of her husband in a much-criticized U.S. anti-terror raid in Yemen, Carryn Owens was one of President Trump’s guests in the House gallery for his address to Congress.
Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens died in the first such operation approved by the new president.
She wept as Trump spoke directly to her:
“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero –- battling against terrorism and securing our nation.
I just spoke to our great Gen. Mattis, just now, 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 enemies.’ Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.”
The chamber rose in a standing ovation that lasted more than a minute-and-a-half. As it came to an end the president added: “Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he’s very happy, because I think he just broke a record.”
As NPR has reported, the White House has repeatedly called the raid a success, despite the deaths of Owens and at least 23 civilians, including a small child. The New York Times characterized the raid by saying, “Everything that could go wrong did.”
But Ryan Owens’ father, Bill Owens, is calling for an investigation of what went wrong in the raid. In an interview with the Miami Herald, he said that he had declined to meet with Trump at the SEAL’s funeral, and wants the president to stop “hiding behind [his] son’s death.”Trump has lashed out at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Twitter for criticizing the mission.