Presidential candidate Moulton says war trauma makes him more 'thoughtful' in decisions

Presidential candidate Moulton says war trauma makes him more 'thoughtful' in decisions
© Greg Nash

Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonOvernight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Congress reacts to US assassination of Iranian general Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far MORE (D-Mass.) said haunting memories from his time in the Marine Corps helps him make more thoughtful decisions as a lawmaker, and would also make him an effective president. 

Moulton offered candid thoughts Sunday during an interview with CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperSteyer says 'grassroots organizing' in Nevada, South Carolina got him on debate stage Pentagon chief says he 'didn't see' intelligence suggesting Iran planned to attack four US embassies Ex-White House press, military officials call on Grisham to restart regular briefings MORE about seeking treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He told of having to drive past a five-year-old Iraqi boy wounded after his family's van was shot by American forces.

"That moment I made one of the most difficult decisions of my entire life, was to drive around that boy and keep pressing that attack," Moulton, who is running for president, said on "State of the Union."

He said stopping would have endangered the lives of dozens if not hundreds of Marines. 

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"But there was nothing I wanted to do more at that moment then get out of my armored vehicle and help that little kid," he said. 

Memories of that boy, and the rest of his service time, has made Moulton a better father and lawmaker, he said. The human cost of war weighs into his decisions in Congress, and guide the difficult choices he'd face if elected president, he said. 

Moulton said it's time for the generation that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to step in as leaders of the country. 

He also doubled-down on the benefits of seeking professional mental health care. He's proposed that every high school student have access to a mental health care check-ups.