Amid the noisy rhetoric of the mainstream media, as it tries to paint Trump as insensitive and ungracious toward the families of fallen soldiers, comes the story of one Gold Star widow who reveals the president’s true colors.
Natasha De Alencar went with her family on April 10 to an Air Force base to pick up her husband, though this time it was not a joyous affair. Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar had been brought back from Afghanistan in a flag-draped casket, having been the first American killed in combat in Afghanistan this year. He was a member of the 7th Special Forces group.
According to the Pentagon, a total of 2,216 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.
“On April 10th, we went to Dover Air Force Base to welcome my husband back home with our whole family. But this time, it was not a celebration,” De Alencar told CNN on Thursday night. Two days before, they had received a phone call.
De Alencar said she will never forget April 8, the day her daughter spoke words that caused her heart to drop. “My daughter … told me that men, like in the movies, were at our front door,” she recalled.
Two soldiers were there to inform her that her husband had been killed in combat and that an Army casualty assistance officer was on his way.
“He celebrated his 37 birthday on April 1 and seven days after his birthday, he was dead,” she said.
The casualty officer sat by her side when President Trump called four days later.
“Natasha,” Trump said in the call, filmed by her children and provided to CNN on Thursday night. “I’m so sorry to hear about the whole situation. What a horrible thing … he’s an unbelievable hero and you know all the people that served with him are saying how incredible he was.”
President Trump had researched Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar and become familiarized with his awards, accomplishments, and family. Natasha De Alencar said she told him she “doesn’t do politics” and loosely identifies as a Democrat, and that the conversation did not become remotely political.
“It became nothing about politics, but a person who understood, and that is what he gave to us,” De Alencar said.
Trump talked with the grieving widow about her children, mentioning the couple’s oldest son, who plays college football. Before ending the five-minute conversation, the president asked her to deliver a message to them.
“Tell them their father was a great hero that I respected,” Trump said.
De Alencar then received an open invitation to the White House, anytime she wanted to visit. “If you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office,” he said.
De Alencar said it was important to record the call.
“All you got is memories and having the commander-in-chief call you for five minutes is an important memory,” she said.
Mark and Natasha De Alencar were married in 2008 after spending 15 years together. He served in the military for 10 years and was the son of an Army veteran.
“He is the most amazing, humblest and very soft spoken,” she said. “He was a Ranger and a Green Beret. He made you want to do better. I am better mother and woman because of him.”
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