NJ Gold Star dad reacts to Trump’s comments on fallen soldiers

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A New Jersey Gold Star father is reacting to the latest news about President Donald Trump and his claims that former President Barack Obama did not do enough to reach out to the families of fallen servicemen and women.

Trump said Tuesday that he would call the families of four soldiers killed in Niger earlier this month and also suggested that Obama and his predecessors did not do enough to reach out to fallen soldiers’ families. But the president also said that he did not know what the policy has been for reaching out to “Gold Star Families.”

RELATED: Trump to call families of slain soldiers, questions Obama

News 12 New Jersey spoke with New Jersey resident Bill Koch about his experience with the White House. Koch’s son, Army Cpl. Steven Koch, was killed by an IED explosion in 2008 in Afghanistan. He was 23 years old.

Bill Koch said that his family received an official condolence letter from the White House, signed by President George W. Bush. He also says that his family became very close to the military casualty officer who was assigned to them.

“So that personal touch is what the families remember and l think that’s what we look for, too,” he says.

Bill Koch says that it has been traditional for families to receive letters from the White House. He says that be believes President Trump is showing respect for the military and if he chooses to make personal calls to the families, it is a meaningful honor.

“We just want our lost one to be honored. We don’t want that to be tarnished. We don’t want it to be used as a political football and I don’t believe it is in this case,” he says. “It’s more of an honoring that he’s doing for our fallen heroes and our injured personnel.”

There have been 25 American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during Trump’s presidency. He says that be believes that he has called the families of all of them.

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