Lawmakers continue to speak out against President Donald Trump's decision to launch an airstrike which killed a top Iranian military official and prompted retaliatory strikes from Iran on two Iraqi military bases holding U.S. troops.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has unique insight into talk of war.
As the only member of Congress who experienced war as a civilian, Omar fled war-torn Somalia with her family at eight years old before spending four years in a refugee camp then receiving asylum in the United States. At 17 years old, she became a U.S. citizen.
At a press conference with House Democrats, Omar said that the increasingly volatile situation in Iran triggered her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from memories of her time in a war zone.
To Congressman Jim Banks, however, the claim was "offensive" to veterans, implying that only veterans can have PTSD.
Rep. Ilhan Omar complained she’s “stricken with PTSD” because of recent events in the Middle East. This is a disgr… https://t.co/KjEex4KcIG— Jim Banks (@Jim Banks)1578521785.0
Omar was quick to clap back, sharing her comments with a screenshot of Banks's tweet.
Hi Jim, I survived war as a child and deal with post-traumatic stress disorder—much like many who have served or l… https://t.co/aDMjXEKMN3— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar)1578526562.0
Others agreed that Banks's take was way off.
Omar's family fled the brutal civil war in Somalia when she was 8 and then spent four years in a refugee camp. I b… https://t.co/T8toOv7wNE— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1578526943.0
Imagine how far your head has to be up your own militaristic ass to think only soldiers get PTSD and not children w… https://t.co/Oa6vzL5j7b— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel Jollett)1578530421.0
Because someone who had to flee war-torn Somalia as a child in the early 90s would have no concept of PTSD and war? https://t.co/p0n6tY535V— Mieke Eoyang (@Mieke Eoyang)1578529231.0
You don't need to be a veteran for your PTSD to be real. This is such a harmful stereotype. Ilhan Omar had to flee… https://t.co/cvSRcKdYII— Stephanie Tait (@Stephanie Tait)1578548113.0
@RepJimBanks Shorter: Only white people are entitled to have PTSD.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen)1578527688.0
Veterans took Banks to task for his comments as well.
@RepJimBanks As a veteran kindly sthu @RepJimBanks. You don’t get to tell people what goes on in their head. Not ev… https://t.co/hICyD9yfE3— Randy Bryce (@Randy Bryce)1578528784.0
Hi Jim, military veteran here. I have PTSD unrelated to my military service. Veterans do not own PTSD. We don't get… https://t.co/eDqwJ8PS11— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈)1578544761.0
Banks didn't apologize and continues to badger Omar on Twitter to please the base who gleefully cheered for her deportation at a Trump rally last summer, despite Omar being an American citizen.