Aside from Donald Trump himself, one of the most talked-about people from the president's first congressional address was Carryn Owens.
Owens is a widow whose husband, 36-year-old Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens, was killed in a raid on an al-Qaeda-held village in Yemen in late January under Trump's administration. During the address, Trump praised the Navy SEAL, saying his "legacy is etched into eternity," and the crowd gave Carryn an almost-two-minute standing ovation as she stood with tears running down her cheeks next to first daughter Ivanka Trump. According to the White House, she is the mother of three of their children.
Despite hailing the raid as a success during his address, Trump had just hours earlier blamed the raid on his generals in an interview with Fox News. "This was something that was, you know, just — they wanted to do . . . and they lost Ryan." He also said the Obama administration had approved the raid, despite denials from an Obama administration official, according to The Washington Post. What's more, CNN reports that Bill Owens, father of the Navy SEAL, slammed Trump, calling for an investigation into his son's death and refusing to meet with the president.
On Tuesday night, Carryn's appearance started trending online.
While many were touched by her appearance . . .
— HAINES™ (@toddwhaines) March 1, 2017
Beautiful extended tribute to Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. The hall at its finest. God bless you Carryn and children. https://t.co/iZCditVAYN
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) March 1, 2017
— Deplorable😡Rāzərbak (@MediaJuggernaut) March 1, 2017
That moment with Carryn Owens was the first time an address to Congress has ever brought tears to my eyes. wow.......
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) March 1, 2017
Others thought it was in poor taste and "shameless."
Trump sent a soldier off to die in a half-baked raid and then used his grieving widow as a prop. I'm still processing this.
— Jordan Weissmann (@JHWeissmann) March 1, 2017
Using soldier's death + grieving widow is shameless. Especially when father is calling for full investigation into son's death #jointaddress
— Caroline C. Larsen (@carolinecology) March 1, 2017
— Reverse123 (@Reverse_123) March 1, 2017
The other takeaway: the Commander-in-Chief blamed everyone else for Ryan's death, then puppetized his widow. I find that shameless.
— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) March 1, 2017