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Gold Star mom: politicization of Khans "not OK"

Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 09:22:31-04
It's not ok to use Gold Star families for political mudslinging.
 
That's what an Iowa Gold Star mother says both presidential candidates are doing and she wants it to stop.
 
Gold Star Mother Barbara Yllescas, Treynor, lost her son, Army Ranger Robert Yllescas, to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2008.
 
She says both Republicans and Democrats are in the wrong for involving gold star families in presidential politics. 
 
"They were heroes,” Yllescas said. “I want people to know that. We're going to keep our children’s memories alive through doing all the work, good things for people. We're not angry. We're not bitter, and we're not political.”
 
Yllescas has spent much of the past seven years volunteering for other Gold Star families and various veterans' organizations.
 
Her son, Capt. Robert Yllescas, died in Afghanistan from a roadside bomb in December of 2008.
 
Yllescas says Gold Star families have been used, recently, by both presidential campaigns for political leverage, such as the Clinton campaign using the Khan family to take a swipe at Donald Trump during the Democratic National Convention.
 
Yllescas says that's not right, and blames both presidential candidates equally for using Gold Star families in politics. 
 
“It was just a game. We were just pawns in their games to throw mud at each other. Please just let us mourn alone, out of the public eye and let us do our good works, let us do our charity work with the veterans because I love my work with them, they help me heal.”
 
Vllescas says Gold Star families are a non-political group.
 
“We can have our own personal opinions, but when we're representing Gold Star, no, we're non-political and we need to present just what we do for work.”
 
We reached out to several Gold Star families to get their sentiments about the politicization of Gold Star families in presidential politics.
 
They all said that Gold Star families are not supposed to be political.