Rep. Omar: ‘War trauma never leaves you’

Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) elaborated further on her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claims saying, “War trauma never leaves you” on Thursday after facing criticism from a GOP House member the day before. 

“The trauma of war is not only felt by the soldier on the battlefield,” Omar — whose family fled war in Somalia when she was a child — tweeted Thursday. 

“It is felt by the child huddled under the bed as bombs go off outside her window,” she added. “I am that child and here in Congress I will always speak out against war.” 

“War trauma never leaves you,” she said in a following tweet.

After fleeing Somalia, Omar and her family lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for years before moving to the United States when Omar was 12. 

On Wednesday, Omar and other progressive lawmakers held a press conference condemning a possible war with Iran. In the press conference, Omar said, “Every time I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war.”

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who served in Afghanistan, responded by tweeting a clip of Omar’s press conference, saying that her comments were “a disgrace and offensive to our nation’s veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe.”

When asked if Banks believes that PTSD is only reserved for veterans, his team told HuffPost that the congressman “didn’t say that” and he ”believes civilians can suffer from PTSD.”

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran spiked last week after a U.S. airstrike killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander in Baghdad.

In retaliation, Iran launched missiles at two Iraqi bases that house U.S. troops on Tuesday, though no American casualties were sustained in the attack. 

Tensions seemed to cool though, after President Trump signaled in an address to the nation Wednesday that the U.S. wouldn’t retaliate for Iran’s missile attack.

Tags Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Ilhan Omar Iran Jim Banks Jim Banks U.S. U.S. House Of Representatives U.S.-Iran relations
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