In emotional interview, Gold Star parents say of Trump: 'It's not about a call or a letter'

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Sheila and Calvin Murphy (Screengrab via CNN)
Sheila and Calvin Murphy (Screengrab via CNN)

The parents of a U.S. Army specialist killed in Syria in May said Thursday they hadn’t received any acknowledgment from President Trump, despite his claim to have called “virtually” all families of fallen U.S. soldiers.

But they’re not looking for a call.

Sheila and Calvin Murphy are the parents of Spc. Etienne Murphy. In an emotional interview on CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday, Sheila Murphy said through her tears “it’s OK” that she hasn’t heard from Trump, because “it’s not about a call or letter.”

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“I just want people to remember my son and all the other Gold Star moms, Mrs. Johnson — all those who are grieving,” she said. “Trust me, none of us want to be in this position, and the worst thing I’ve ever been called is a Gold Star mom.”

Trump’s communication with the families of slain troops has been under scrutiny since Tuesday, when he falsely accused his recent predecessors of not calling such families. The claim was an attempt to defend his own lack of public statements about four soldiers killed in Niger this month.

The president sparked more controversy this week by publicly feuding with Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who said Trump told Myeshia Johnson — the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson — that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” Sgt. Johnson was one of the soldiers killed in Niger.

Murphy, through what she called “un-get-throughable” pain, said she wrote a letter to the White House in hopes that Trump would “not forget” Etienne.

“I have no hard feelings toward anybody,” she said.

“Because it’s not about me; it’s about my child and all the other countless fallen heroes, and those still over there now and the families that are here grieving, like I am and my husband is,” she added. “That’s what it’s all about. I don’t want it to be about me or about a letter; I want it to be about my child and what he stood for, and what they are fighting for over there right now as I speak.”

Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, 22, of Loganville, Ga., died May 26 in Al-Hasakah, Syria, of injuries sustained during a vehicle-rollover-related incident. (Photo: DOD)
Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, 22, of Loganville, Ga., died May 26 in Al-Hasakah, Syria, of injuries sustained during a vehicle-rollover-related incident. (Photo: DOD)

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