Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens — killed in the line of duty during a military intelligence operation in Yemen — received a rousing ovation Tuesday night at President Donald Trump's joint address to Congress. She cried as the audience stood for minutes applauding her late husband's sacrifice.
"We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a 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."
Carryn Owens wiped away tears as members clapped, at one point looking to the ceiling and mouthing, "I love you, baby."
The mission that cost Owens his life has become a political problem for Trump, who is accused of signing off on a rushed operation that senior administration officials say yielded no "actionable intelligence."
Trump even took the time in a Tuesday interview to blame the military for Owens' death.
"This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do," Trump said in an interview on Fox and Friends.
"They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do. The generals — who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we've had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan," Trump added.
However, as Carryn Owens looked on, Trump assured the audience that her husband's death was not in vain.
"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.
Trump went on to say that Ryan Owens' 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," Trump said. "Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country and for our freedom — we will never forget him."
In what appeared to be an attempt to lighten the mood, Trump went off script to joke that Ryan Owens was likely looking down on the address and smiling because he "broke a record" for sustained applause.