United States Army veteran Bobby Henline, who was severely wounded by an IED is blasting Democrats and anti-Trump groups who are using his image as part of a “propaganda” campaign based on a maligned story from The Atlantic claiming President Donald Trump called members of the military “losers.”
Henline, who served four tours in Iraq before being caught in an IED attack that left him with burns over 40% of his body, fractures in his face, and without a hand, is seen in several memes being spread around social media that demand Facebook and Twitter users “share” Henline’s image to blast back at Trump for allegedly demeaning veterans’ service.
“Donald Trump says nobody wants to see wounded warriors,” says one shared on Facebook by “Military Veterans Against Fascism,” “Prove him wrong by making this go viral!”
“Trump says he’s a loser,” another one, posted by the “MSNBC Rachel Maddow fan group,” says over a photo of Henline in his full uniform, his face and neck covered in scars from the IED attack. “I say he’s a hero! What do you say?”
Henline spoke exclusively to Fox News about the memes, which he labeled unfair.
“I’m just so irritated that they put my image up there because now it looks like the president called me a loser,” Henline said. “And they’re using that to sell something that they believe in for their agenda. It’s not fair to put us [veterans] as props in the middle of all that.”
In a series of Instagram posts debunking the memes, Henline labels the photos “propaganda” and asks his followers to identify the photos and report them to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or wherever else they may appear.
“Go on what you have with facts,” Henline told Fox. “If you don’t have the power to win on your own merits, that you have to tear down your opponent, there is a problem there.”
Henline says that he doesn’t believe the Atlantic story, which claims Trump called off a visit to a veteran’s cemetery in France because he was disgusted by the “losers” buried there. No less than former National Security Advisor John Bolton — no fan of President Trump — has spoken out against the story, which is based on comments from several anonymous sources.
“I really believe the president didn’t say this,” Henline told Fox about the Atlantic piece. “There’s been anonymous sources and other sources in the room that aren’t necessarily friends with the president or believe in his ways, but they’re still not gonna slam him and make up this rumor and keep it spreading. And so with that said, I don’t think he really said this.”
He says he spoke out about the memes because he was afraid they were convincing other veterans that Trump had no respect for their service.
“Them taking that well-recognized photo and using it for their agenda and changing veterans’ minds, thinking the president talks to them like that is ridiculous,” Henline said. “And I believe it worked. And that’s why I want to get it taken down because it shouldn’t be working. People need to hear the truth. That’s my image. And it should not be up there speaking for me.”
Henline, who still bears the very visible scars of the IED attack that killed the other four soldiers in his humvee, is now a nationally recognized comedian who jokes about his injuries in order to bring attention to the long-term suffering of vets returning home with both visible and invisible battle scars.