Vice President Joe Biden on Monday evening responded to Donald Trump's claim that veterans with PTSD "can't handle" the psychological burden of combat.
"Where in the hell is he from?" Biden said during a campaign event in support of Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. "This is deadly earnest. My son spent a year in Iraq, came back a highly decorated veteran. I've been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 29 times."
Biden recalled finding himself "in Iraq, being asked ... to pin a silver medal on a young captain who had pulled someone out of a burning Humvee, risking his life." The captain, he said, refused the medal because the person he'd risked his life to save had nonetheless died.
"How many nights does that kid go to sleep seeing that image in his head, dealing with it?" Biden yelled. He showed the Sarasota, Florida, audience his schedule, which lists the updated combined death toll of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, which according to his schedule totals 6,753. "Every one of those warriors left an entire family, a community for us. Every one of them."
"But as a veteran can tell you, over 200,000 are coming home with unseen wounds," he continued, in addition to the 52,419 military personnel wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Biden clarified that he doesn't think the Republican presidential nominee was "trying to be mean." Instead, Trump's "just so thoroughly, completely uninformed."
"We only have one sacred obligation," he added. "To care for those we send to war, and to care for them and their families when they come home."