Sarah Palin suggested while stumping for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Wednesday that her son Track’s domestic violence arrest was caused by post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in the U.S. military.
In Palin’s estimation, the blame for her son’s condition ultimately rests with the Obama administration.
Referring to Track Palin’s Monday arrest as “an elephant in the room” at a Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, Palin accused President Barack Obama of failing to provide adequate care for U.S. veterans.
“They have to question if they’re respected anymore. It starts from the top,” she said. “The question, though, that comes from our own president where they have to look at him and wonder, ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America?'”
Track Palin, who served overseas in the Iraq War, was arrested in a domestic violence incident this week. Court documents revealed that Palin punched his girlfriend in the eye, kicked her and then threatened to shoot himself in the head with an AR-15 assault rifle. He was charged with three misdemeanor counts.
His mother, who officially endorsed Trump’s campaign on Tuesday, said during the Oklahoma rally that her son was “hardened” by his experience in the military.
“When my own son is going through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kind of feel these ramifications of some PTSD and the woundedness that our soldiers do return with,” Palin told the crowd. “It makes me realize more than ever it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we have that commander in chief who will respect them and honor them.”
In September 2014, Palin addressed a Houston, Texas fundraiser held by the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program—a faith-based non-profit dedicated to rehabilitating veterans with PTSD—where she discussed her son’s positive experience with the program.
Her speech at the Mighty Oaks event came just one day before the infamous brawl at her husband Todd’s 50th birthday party in Alaska, which involved some 20 people, including several Palin family members.
At the time, eyewitnesses reported that the former Alaska governor shouted, “Do you know who I am?” to diffuse the hectic scene.
But RealClearPolitics interviewed an anonymous source close to the family, who claimed that Palin actually yelled, in reference to her son, “Don’t you know who he is? He’s a vet!”
According to the source, Track Palin suffered four cracked ribs during the melee.
RealClearPolitics reported that he has served as a counselor to fellow veterans who suffer from PTSD.