Veteran Chris Mark Wrote an Open Letter to Khizr Khan-Authorship Confirmed!

Veteran Chris Mark Wrote an Open Letter to Khizr Khan-Authorship Confirmed!

Summary of eRumor:
Chris Mark, a Marine veteran, has written an open letter to Gold Star father Khizr Khan.
The Truth:
We can confirm that a veteran named Chris Mark wrote this open letter to Khizr Khan — but Mark later wrote an apology to Khan and other Gold Star parents.
Mark published the letter at his website, Global Risk Info, on July 31st. Mark, a service disabled veteran, manages the site to “discuss various security and risk management topics.” Mark also owns Mark Consulting Group, which specializes in providing a range of information services to its clients.
Mark describes his military career in a biography that appears on the company’s website:

Prior to joining the civilian sector, Mr. Mark served in both the United States Marine Corps where he operated as a Force Reconnaissance Marine, Marine Scout/Sniper, Security Forces Marine, and in the US Navy where he was selected to serve as a Navy SEAL Officer before a training injury ended his career. Mr. Mark is a combat veteran of Operation Continue Hope, Mogadishu, Somalia and served as the training officer of the Marine Basic Reconnaissance Course.  He has attended numerous military schools including; Marine Combat Training, Marine Infantry, Marine Scout/Sniper, SOTG Urban Sniper, SOTG Urban Reconnaissance & Surveillance, US Army Airborne, US Army Pathfinder, US Navy Scuba, Marine Amphibious Reconnaissance, HRST Master, and Marine Security Forces, among others.

Following Khizr Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, Mark penned a response in the form of an open letter to Khan. The letter begins:

I want to preface this letter by stating that I respect your son’s sacrifice for this great nation.  By all accounts, he is a true hero that sacrificed himself in service to our country. For that I am thankful.

As a veteran, I watched your comments at the Democratic National Convention with a mixture of sadness, and anger.  The United States has a military comprised of volunteers.  Every single member has made the conscious choice to join the military and serve.  There is not a single service member who has been forced into service.  It is important for all service members (and apparently, their families) to understand that service to this great nation does not imbue one with special privileges or rights.  I found your comments troubling when you said: “Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Mark took exception with Khan’s statement that Donald Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one” — and he questioned whether Hillary Clinton had:

Does it matter whether Mr. Trump has sacrificed “…nothing and no one?”…has Ms. Clinton “..sacrificed” for this nation?  How about Mr. Obama?   Your comment stating that Mr. Trump “…has sacrifice no one” is alarming.  Are you intimating that YOU sacrificed?  Sir, your son willingly sacrificed himself.   As a father I cannot imagine the pain you must feel but his sacrifice is his own.  He was not forced to serve.

Mark also called Khan’s characterization of Trump’s statements to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country “wrong and disingenuous”:

As a reminder, Mr. Trump said: ” “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,”The irony of your son’s own death at the hands of these very people in Iraq should not be ignored.  I have little doubt that your son would have recognized the need to protect our country from these very people.  In fact, he held is own troops back so that he could check on a suspicious car.  Your son understood sacrifice and how to protect “his people”…’his soldiers’….’his fellow Americans’…

Mark’s open letter quickly went viral and was re-printed by major media outlets like FOX News. On August 3rd, however, Mark published an apology to Khan. He stated that his views that “Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own” did not align with the beliefs of many Gold Star families:

Recently, I wrote an ‘Open Letter’ to Mr. Khizr Khanthat generated quite a bit of controversy.  I had referenced that Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own.  In reading numerous Gold Star family comments from both sides of the isle, I believe an apology to the Khan family, Mrs. Smith and all Gold Star Families is in line. I was hopeful that I would have had the opportunity to make this last night in a more public forum but I was unable.

While I personally do believe Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own, I have learned that my own position on this issue does not reflect the views of many Gold Star Families.  I should have been more circumspect in my comments and taken more time to understand the feelings of those families before opining.  There is no other way to say it: I am sorry and I have learned.

I want to thank those who took the time to comment directly and professionally to allow me to see both sides of this very sensitive position.