MIAMI – The father of the Navy SEAL killed during a raid in Yemen revealed that he did not want to meet President Donald Trump during his son's dignified transfer ceremony.
Bill Owens, father of Chief Special Warfare Officer Willian "Ryan" Owens, told Miami Herald that he refused to meet Trump and his daughter Ivanka who attended the ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in late January.
William Owens, 36, was the only U.S. person to die in the January 27 raid on a suspected al-Qaida compound. Fourteen Al-Qaeda members were killed during the operation, which was carried out by SEAL Team 6. Others were killed as well, including the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki,
At the request of Bill Owens and his family, no media or any bystanders were allowed to attend the ceremony. He told the newspaper Friday, shortly before the ceremony they were informed that the President, his daughter and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware were going to attend it.
"I'm sorry, I don't want to see him," Owens recalled telling the chaplain of Trump. "I don't want to meet the President."
“I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him,” Owens told the newspaper.
The Miami Herald reported that Owens, a military veteran, "cringed at the thought of having to shake the hand of the president who approved the raid in Yemen that claimed his son’s life — an operation that he and others are now calling into question."
William Owens, a married father of three, was from Peoria, Illinios. He went through SEAL training in Coronado, California and was stationed in San Diego from 2003 to 2007. Owens was most recently based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.