Receiving a call or letter from the president "doesn't matter," according to the parents of an army specialist killed in Syria last May.
President Donald Trump has been criticized recently for his response to gold star families. On Thursday, CNN spoke to the family of SPC Etienne Murphy, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who died when the vehicle he was driving rolled over in northern Syria on May 26 of this year.
When host Alisyn Camerota asked Sheila and Calvin Murphy whether they heard from anyone at the White House after their son's death, Mrs. Murphy said, "No, I haven't. I haven't, but it's okay.
"It doesn't matter if I hear from the White House or not because it's not really about… it's not about a call or letter. I just want people to remember my son and all the other gold star moms, Mrs. Johnson said. All those who are grieving. Trust me, none of us want to be in the position, and the worst thing I ever have been called is a gold star mom."
Although she did not receive one from the administration, Mrs. Murphy wrote a letter to the White House. When Camerota asked what she wanted Trump to know, she said, "I just wanted him to not forget my son," adding that she has "no hard feelings toward anybody, because it's not about me, it's about my child and all the other countless fallen heroes and those still over there now and the families that are here grieving, like I am and my husband is. That's what it's all about"
"I don't want it to be about me or about a letter," Mrs. Murphy continued. "I want it to be about my child and what he stood for and what they are fighting over there right now as I speak."
She later read a statement about her son.
"As far as whether or not my family receives a call or letter from the president is not the issue, my concern is that my son's contribution to this country not be overlooked or forgotten. His beautiful life came to an abrupt end when he chose to heed the calling of joining the Army… I want everybody to know that his role in the fight against terrorism is the epitome of what this country should stand for, for liberty and justice for all. I would do everything in my power to see my son will be always remembered, that laid down his life for this country that is so divided in turmoil right now, and it just breaks my heart."
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