Context

 

Context matters.

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard that President Trump told a grieving widow that her husband, Sgt LaDavid Johnson, “knew what he was getting into” when he was killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4.

On paper, of course, this sounds callous. Even heartless.

But to hear John Kelly, who himself lost a son in battle, give context to Trump’s remarks, we’re left with a much different perspective.

According to Kelly, Trump wasn’t heartlessly blaming the widow’s husband for his own death. Rather, he was honoring him.

Those who courageously volunteer to serve in the military know there are great risks. They understand those risks, and they have decided those risks are worth taking. That is incredibly admirable.

Sgt Johnson did know what he was getting into. Acknowledging that doesn’t assign blame to him; it bestows great honor upon him.