President Donald Trump’s address to the Joint Session of Congress Tuesday night, February 28, was a benchmark of fine presidential speeches, delighting his supporters and stunning his detractors.

The Progressives’ Mainstream Media has long lauded former President Obama as the greatest of orators, in spite of the fact that, without his beloved TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States), BHO’s speech transcripts were an “ode to um.”

Americans expected great addresses from our 40th president, Ronald Wilson Reagan, renowned for his soaring rhetoric and magnificently delivered speeches of import.

Americans anticipated forthrightness from Trump who is often painfully plain spoken and free-wheeling at the mic. But Tuesday night was a triumph of President Trump’s earnest intentions met with the speechwriters’ craft. The President’s speech was hopeful and firm and long-sighted.

But the most powerful moment of the speech came when Trump spoke these words:

We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation. (Applause.)

I just spoke to our great General Mattis, just now, who reconfirmed that — and I quote — “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you. And Ryan is looking down, right now — you know that — and he is very happy because I think he just broke a record.

For as the Bible teaches us, “There is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom. And we will never forget Ryan.

If you weren’t wiping your eyes during that acknowledgment of a fallen Navy SEAL and his beautiful wife, you obviously had no heart.

I have been honored to meet and become friends with a number of Navy SEALs, and to call them warriors is an understatement. The Teams represent no more than 2 or 3 thousand members at any one time. It’s a small community of brothers. As I wrote at in 2014:

Among our unconventional forces, none are more highly respected (and feared) than the US Navy Sea, Air, Land Teams…SEALs.

. . .

Every frogman who wears the Trident has earned that right, has made it through grueling and hellish training, not just by strength, aptitude, or raw talent, but by sheer force of will. They never rang the bell; they had no quit in them.

In that moment, with the cameras and every eye in the gallery trained on Carryn Owens, the nation applauded this strong, beautiful, grieving woman and her heroic, fallen husband. It was a tribute to every fallen warrior who has paid the last full measure of devotion, and a special tribute to Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. I imagined Ryan from his heavenly viewpoint shouting “For God and country!”

That accolade by the President for SEAL Owens was a gift to Carryn Owens and her and Ryan’s three children, a gift of honor and love that family can hold tightly in the tough days and years ahead.

But then came Wednesday and the acerbic criticism from The Left, most of whom have absolutely no understanding of the warrior, special forces culture or worldview. Progressives, by and large, have no concept of “laying down one’s life for one’s friend,” of true patriotism and sacrifice.

And no one on The Left understands less than liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. Moore went on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris “Tingles up the leg” Matthews and accused President Trump of using Carryn Owens as a political pawn, a photo-op to strengthen his speech.

First of all, I am willing to bet everything that Carryn Owens agreed to be there because of the President’s sensitive and empathetic handling of her husband’s death. Upon hearing of Chief Ryan’s death, Trump called Carryn and not only offered his sincere condolences, but also received permission to attend the memorial service. Trump made it clear that there was to be NO press. None.

Listen to the words of newly sworn in Department of the Interior Secretary AND former SEAL Team Six Leader, Ryan Zinke:

…first to the President of the United States, who we are all so deeply committed to. And I’ve spent some time with him. I can tell you with marching out to Dover to watch Chief Owens come home, and watching the President witness that. I saw the makings of, not only a great president, but a Commander-in-Chief that I will fight with. He is sincere. He loves his country. And he makes good decisions — especially the Vice-President.

President Trump did the right thing by inviting Carryn Owens, giving her the opportunity to have a front stage seat to watch the nation show their great love and honor for Ryan, her courageous husband.

But that’s not how Hollywood heavyweight Michael Moore saw it.

Fox News anchor, Martha MacCallum, host of “The First 100 Days,” had American Sniper SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, on to react to Moore’s despicable comments. And boy did she ever. Taya, a Fox News contributor since summer 2016, trained her verbal crosshairs on Moore’s big head and let him have it.

Just listening to those clips I have a myriad of emotions going through me. I can tell you when I hear the applause and I hear the words being spoken about Ryan, I’m not thinking about politics in the slightest. What I’m thinking is that my heart is pounding and I have chills because it’s truth. Because this is a silent professional and his intensely private family who gave everything, they never wanted recognition.

And if somebody now that he’s gone wants to get up and thank him for his sacrifice, for his service, to tell the world his name, to tell he’s out there serving, then God bless him!

And you know what? For his beautiful wife to get up there, she’s so private. For her to get up there and say “I’m going to do this because I love my husband, and because he’s worthy of this praise. He deserves this recognition and for once he doesn’t have to be the silent person.” For her to stand up and receive that for him is beautiful.

You asked about my feelings on what Michael Moore said? It makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me angry.

Because he’s saying two things when he says that, to me. He’s saying a) she’s a fool and doesn’t know she’s being used. And that’s RIDICULOUS, it couldn’t be farther from the truth, and [b] it’s also saying that this wasn’t warranted. That in some way this has to always be political.

I get the idea that it would be nice to say everything is a political ploy. It totally negates, though, the meaning behind this. And the meaning of it, for all the people watching who cried with her, is that some valiant people are out there fighting — not for Republicans, not for Democrats — they’re fighting for this country and God bless them for doing it!

Taya’s wonderful words summed up the feelings of millions of patriots who watched Carryn Owens and did cry with her. I cried with her.

In the words of Lincoln:

that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

That’s what Donald Trump was doing. That’s what tearful Americans were doing. We were all telling Carryn Owens that her warrior husband, U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens, did NOT die in vain.

God bless you Carryn and your children. May God bless the memory of Ryan Owens.

And God bless President Donald Trump for understanding the value of Ryan’s sacrifice to our nation.

We will never forget.


“In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.”
The SEAL Ethos

Chief Owens did not fail.


First published at