A War Widow Forced Fox News To Ask The Presidential Field About Veterans

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks toward Jeb Bush, right, as Scott Walker watches during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.
AP photo by Andrew Harnik

Last night, Fox News broadcasted the first debate of the 2016 presidential election cycle, grilling the top 10 Republican candidates over two hours in prime time in Cleveland, Ohio.


In the final minutes of the debate, in the middle of a question about whether the candidates had spoken to God, Fox News host Megyn Kelly interrupted the responses to ask about America’s veterans, saying a woman in the audience implored her to do so. She then asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to respond about talking to God and America’s veterans, a formidable challenge that the senator handled deftly.

Who was this woman who upended the nationally televised debate and forced veterans into the conversation?

Her name is Jane Horton, and she understands the notion of military sacrifice better than most. Horton is a gold-star widow. Her husband, Spc. Christopher Horton, was killed in action in Afghanistan Sept. 9, 2011, when his unit was attacked with small-arms fire. The U.S. Army sniper was only 26 years old.

Horton confirmed on Twitter that she was the one who forced the issue.

A 2012 profile on the conservative news site the Blaze featured Horton’s thoughts on her husband from an earlier blog post.

“I just have one problem…I love to talk about Chris. I love to talk about his life, his accomplishments, and our love. The problem is, other people do not want to talk about it with me. They don’t know how to address the issue, or even to let me talk about it with them.”

Now, on a national stage, it seems Horton wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“The thing about Jane is that she is a tenacious advocate for our community and that she has a powerful way to make people remember,” Paul Rieckhoff told Task & Purpose.  Rieckhoff is the founder and chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a national non-profit devoted to the vets of America’s most recent wars. “She puts forward that personal sacrifice because she doesn’t want Chris to be forgotten and she doesn’t want our community to be forgotten.”

The debate was winding down when Horton approached Kelly at the moderator’s table, and it seemed unlikely that a question on veterans was in the works. Her bold act had big implications.

“[Horton’s] actions made us feel like someone was fighting for us. We were all screaming at our televisions … last night,” Rieckhoff said. “Most of our community were waiting to hear our name, waiting for almost two hours ... At that point of the night, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen.

“I hope that Jane speaking up is a painful lesson learned for the folks running these debates. If you don’t mention our community, we’re going to make you mention it,” Rieckhoff added.

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

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"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

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The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

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