Donald Trump suggests military veterans who develop PTSD are weaker than those who don't

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made yet another misstep Monday during a week filled with blunders and damaging revelations, suggesting that military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or who commit suicide are weaker than those who don't.

During a question and answer session with veterans in Herndon, Virginia, hosted by Retired American Warriors, Trump said many who return home from war can't cope with the things they saw on the battlefield.

"When people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe what the people in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it," Trump said.

Trump went on to say that the issue needs to be better addressed by the military.

But his words quickly caught on in a negative way, with veterans and others criticizing the words he used which made it seem like he thought those who suffer PTSD were weaker than those who don't.

See how people are reacting to Trump’s comments on social media
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See how people are reacting to Trump’s comments on social media
I guess my buddy who I deployed with, who suffered from PTSD, and who took his own life wasn't as strong as a roomf…
My BF served 15 yrs in USMC w/ 3 tours in Iraq. He has a service dog for PTSD & now works for USSS. #Trump has no g…
@anamariecox As a vet, this is beyond offensive. He's certainly living up to that deplorable moniker.
PTSD is indiscriminate. I am no weaker than anyone else for having it. Trump is pure scum. Can't wait til…
@anamariecox @JR4Trump I’m a vet with PTSD who understood him perfectly well. Same guy who wanted to throw disabled vets off -his- street
Saying that those who suffer PTSD arn't 'strong' is EXACTLY the line of talk that prevents people from getting help
@iava As a veteran of the USAF I cannot take the way this man speaks about any group of people including veterans.
@anamariecox So many moments like that in this campaign -- utterly horrible things he says that can't get the attention they deserve.
Trump couldn’t even “handle” bone spurs.
@Clay_57 @anamariecox With a son in the AF, I am disgusted by his ignorance at what it takes to serve. He couldn't handle it!

Trump has spoken often about veterans' care and veterans' suicide on the campaign trail, vowing to tackle the growing problem of PTSD and other mental illness veterans suffer in the wake of a more-than-a-decade-long war in the Middle East.

While the Department of Veterans Affairs has been blamed for lacking the necessary amount of mental health services to deal with the problem, other veterans and military families have said the negative stigma of receiving mental health services is equally problematic.

During a Sept. 28 presidential town hall hosted by CNN, a Gold Star wife whose husband committed suicide after returning home because he was too afraid to seek treatment for his PTSD asked President Barack Obama how he would tackle the issue.

Obama said he was working with military commanders to try and lower that stigma.

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"The first is I have instructed the Joint Chiefs and up and down the chain of command that they have a responsibility to de-stigmatize mental health issues and issues of PTSD and help to explain to everybody in all of the units under their command that there's nothing weak about asking for help," Obama said.

But Trump's insinuation that those who suffer from PTSD aren't strong threatens to undermine that effort.

Monday's remarks don't mark the first time Trump has insinuated that those who suffer from mental illness or seek help are weak. In November 2012, he boasted that he had never seen a psychiatrist, and preferred instead to "hit 'sleazebags' back."

RELATED: These people have openly admitted they are not Trump supporters:

Notable people who have spoken out against Donald Trump
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Notable people who have spoken out against Donald Trump

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

The Mayor did not hold back in this tweet:

"I didn’t realize this was in question. Behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist…of course @RealDonaldTrump is a racist."

 REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Martha Stewart

In an interview win CNNMoney Stewart said "There is so much to know and so much to learn and so much diplomacy and kindness and introspection that goes with that kind of job, and it does not exist in the world of Donald Trump."

REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian 

John Oliver

The host of the Last week Tonight dedicated 20 minutes of his show to completely annihilate everything Trump stands for.

Click here to watch the Segment.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

J.K. Rowling

The beloved author took to twitter and compared him to the worst of the worst, "How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad."

(Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Robert De Niro

At the  22nd Sarajevo Film Festival Robert De Niro made his opinion very clear on what he thinks of Trump. "It's crazy that people like Donald Trump . . . he shouldn't even be where he is, so God help us"

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Mark Ruffalo

 Ruffalo and many more stars have signed a petition entitled #UnitedagainstHate to stand against Donald Trump

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier 

America Ferrera

America Ferrera wrote an open letter on the HuffingtonPost to Donald Trump thanking him for his portrayal of Latin immigrants. In her letter she states "You, Mr. Trump, are living in an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America. Last week, America celebrated some amazing milestones — marriage equality, universal healthcare, removing of the confederate flag — making it clear in which direction the country is moving. That is why racist remarks that play to extremists won’t change the tide, no matter how hard you try. They will only serve to rally more Latino voters to the polls. Your negativity and your poorly thought out speech ignited a fire in our community. Thank you, Mr. Trump!"

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


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