Skip to navigationSkip to content
Reuters/Nick Oxford
Sheeee’s back!
JUST DON'T

“There’s no explaining away personal responsibility”—Veterans aren’t buying Palin’s PTSD theories

Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

A lot of US veterans are not happy with Sarah Palin.

The reality TV star and former Alaska governor appeared on the campaign trail with Donald Trump yesterday (Jan. 20) and linked the recent domestic violence arrest of her son Track, an Iraq war veteran, to the post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by many returning veterans. Palin then suggested that the plight of veterans like Track was the fault of president Barack Obama.

“They come back wondering if there is that respect for what their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military have given so sacrificially to this country, and that starts at the top,” she said. “It’s a shame that our military personnel even have to question, have to wonder if they’re respected anymore. It starts from the top. The question, though, it comes from the top, the question, though, that comes from our own president.”

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11-20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. But many veterans bitterly resent the implication that their service in a war zone makes them prone to violent outbursts, and took Palin’s statement as an excuse for her son’s behavior.

Track Palin was arrested this week in Wasilla, Alaska, and charged with assault and possessing a weapon while intoxicated, after he allegedly kicked and punched his girlfriend and threatened to shoot himself.

Many veterans came out to speak about their own experiences:

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.