Retired Marine Staff Sergeant Johnny “Joey” Jones is a former bomb technician of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars who lost his legs during a mission, and now says that if Trump had been president then, perhaps he would not have been so grievously injured. He explained why on Fox News Friday.
Jones first posted his thoughts on his Twitter account, which received a lot of attention when he wrote, “I lost my legs because my gov’t was afraid to use the tools they had and saw me as expendable. I wish I’d had this admin.”
I lost my legs because my gov't was afraid to use the tools they had and saw me as expendable. I wish I'd had this admin.
— Johnny (Joey) Jones (@Johnny_Joey) April 13, 2017
“Well this is an issue I’m really personally connected to,” Jones said on Fox News, “the tweet very specifically and carefully starts out with ‘I lost my legs because’ and the story behind that is that I was a bomb tech, my job was to go in and take apart bombs, I loved doing it. I miss it every day, but the actual operation I was injured on was a ghost town, where people had stockpiled enemy, well the enemy had stockpiled components to build IEDs with, and what we were trying to do was neutralize those IED components.”
“We made the decision to go into that town after it was vacated by civilians,” he continued, “and mostly enemy and render safe IEDs in order to neutralize that. And we recommended to our superiors that we could drop bombs strategically or use ordnance even artillery to neutralize that threat but at the time, you know that headline, ‘U.S. drops bombs,’ or ‘U.S. fires artillery’ just wasn’t worth it.”
“I guess risking us was, that’s how I feel, that’s how we felt then,” he added, “and I believe that this action with the MOAB, I think is a pretty strong statement. Y’know the MOAB is a statement bomb, in my opinion, in this case, and it says that we’re going to do what we need to, and we’re going to keep our guys and gals safe.”
Jones explained that he wasn’t the only victim of the decision to avoid bad headlines on that mission. “Well, we were allowed to kind of request a list of recommendations prior to us going in on foot and doing this by hand,” he added. “None of them were approved until later on, actually until after I was injured and another person was killed, another Marine was killed.”
Jones said it may not be that Trump himself was sending the message directly by ordering the MOAB, but that he was sending the message by trusting the military to order the MOAB.
“They landed on this piece of ordnance, something that we know would create headlines as the best way to operationally and tactically neutralize this threat,” he concluded, “shows us that those perceptions or those considerations that perhaps were plaguing us in years past don’t take precedent today, and if this is an administration that is allowing that, then I applaud them.”