President Donald Trump paid tribute to the widow of fallen Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens in an especially touching moment during his address to Congress Tuesday evening.
Carryn Owens, who was present in the chamber, sat with her hands clasped and tears streaming down her face as members of Congress delivered the longest applause of the evening.
“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of the U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens,” Trump said. “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our nation.”
Trump even addressed her personally — stepping away from his prepared remarks to comment on the lengthy applause by members of Congress.
“Ryan is looking down right now, and he’s very happy because, I think, he just broke a record,” he told her.
Owens was the first U.S. service member killed under the Trump administration, during a raid in Yemen on January 29.
The operation was planned during the Obama administration, but was reportedly delayed until the first full moon, which would occur after Trump was sworn in. Trump gave the final go-ahead for the mission.
After Owens’s death, the raid has come under criticism by Democrats and some Republicans for being hastily approved or unsuccessful, although Pentagon leaders maintain it was a success and extracted important intelligence.
Trump during his address said he had just spoken with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, who reconfirmed the raid was a success.
“I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies,'” Trump said.
“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom –- we will never forget him,” he said.