Vets: Don't blame Obama for Track Palin's behavior

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Palin Opens Up on Son's Battle with PTSD

Don't blame President Obama for the PTSD that Sarah Palin claims her oldest son is battling.

That was the message Wednesday from the head of a New York City-based veteran's organization that has fought for years to get Iraq and Afghanistan war vets help with their post traumatic stress disorder.

SEE MORE: Sarah Palin's oldest son arrested in domestic violence case

"It's not President Obama's fault that Sarah Palin's son has PTSD," said Paul Rieckhoff, who heads Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). "PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health injury and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular."

Rieckhoff weighed in after Palin said her son Track's arrest on domestic violence charges this week stemmed from the PTSD he contracted after serving with the Army in Iraq — and because of Obama's supposed lack of "respect" for veterans.

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Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump
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Vets: Don't blame Obama for Track Palin's behavior
AMES, IA - JANUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embraces former Gov. Sarah Palin at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University on January 19, 2016 in Ames, IA. Trump received Palin's endorsement at the event. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JANUARY 19: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University on January 19, 2016 in Ames, IA. Palin endorsed Donald Trump's run for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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The former GOP vice-presidential candidate made the claim at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma after she endorsed Republican front runner Donald Trump for president.

Rieckhoff, whose organization is non-partisan, said "it's important to recognize that Track may need help like many veterans" -- and that his mother is in a position to use her influence to help him and other vets.

"This is a great opportunity for Sarah Palin to sound the alarm about PTSD," he said. "Now that she has endorsed Mr. Trump, I would encourage her to talk with him about it. Mr. Trump's campaign is pretty light on specifics about what he would do for veterans."

Rieckhoff urged Palin to "resist the urge to politicize" PTSD.

"I hope this doesn't become a portable chew toy in a political campaign," he said.

Track Palin, 26, was arrested Monday in Wasilla, Alaska after he allegedly slugged his girlfriend in the face, kicked her in the knee, and threatened suicide with an AR-15 assault rifle. He was charged with interfering with the report of domestic violence, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and assault.

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Sarah Palin and son Track Palin
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Vets: Don't blame Obama for Track Palin's behavior
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 03: (L to R) Republican U.S vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin holds her son Trig Palin as Track Palin, Bristol Palin and Willow Palin look on during day three of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The GOP will nominate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the Republican choice for U.S. President on the last day of the convention. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NBC NEWS -- 2008 Republican Convention: Day 3 -- Pictured: (l-r) Presidential nominee John McCain, Levi Johnston, boyfriend of Bristol Palin, Track Palin, Willow Palin, Piper Palin, Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and (in back) Todd Palin holding son Trig Palin, after Sarah's address to the audience during the 2008 Republican Convention in St. Paul, MN on September 3, 2008 (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
US Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) stands on stage with family members after addressing the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 3, 2008. From L-R: son Track, daughter Bristol and her boyfriend Levi Johnston, daughter Willow with Palin's last-born Trig, Piper and husband Todd. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 03: Track Palin sits with Willow Palin while holding Trig Palin on day three of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The GOP will nominate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the Republican choice for U.S. President on the last day of the convention. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 03: Track Palin, Bristol Palin, her boyfriend Levi Johnston, Willow Palin, Piper Palin, husband Todd Palin and Republican U.S vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin holding Trig Palin stand on stage during day three of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will accept The GOP nomination for U.S. President Thursday night. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Track Palin, the eldest son of Alaska Gov. Sara Palin. On Friday, August 29, 2008, GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain chose the Alaska governor as his vice presidential running mate. (Photo by Photo courtesy of the Alaska Governor's Office/Anchorage Daily News/MCT via Getty Images)
WASILLA, AK - JUNE 15: Sarah Palin chats with son Track at community park function on June 15, 2002 in Wasilla, Alaska. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate at a campaign rally August 29, 2008 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Robert A. Baker/Getty Images)
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This was not Track Palin's first brush with the law. Back in 2014 he was involved in a wild brawl at a house party in Anchorage, during which his sister Bristol allegedly punched the host repeatedly in the face. No arrests were made and no charges were filed.

Track Palin served in Iraq with the Alaska-based 25th Infantry Division's 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team for a year in 2008 — while George W. Bush was still president.

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