Friday, August 19, 2016

For This Army Veteran, Trump is a Terrifying Prospect

Donald Trump has certainly given all of us many reasons for concern about the possibility that he could become president, but I would like to offer my perspective, based in part on my past experience as an officer in the Army.
Where to begin! As a longtime admirer of John McCain, I suppose the Trump outrage that most sticks in my craw, at least from an emotional standpoint, is his contemptuous dismissal of McCain’s heroism as a POW and, more generally, of the sacrifices made by every other POW in every one of our wars. (“I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump tells us.)
This from a guy who (legally, of course) worked the system to avoid the draft and avoid serving in Vietnam, but who pats himself on the back because he also avoided sexually transmitted diseases while he was sleeping around in New York (or so he boasts), while others of us were risking their lives in combat. “It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” he bragged.
I suspect that my classmates and comrades who died and were grievously wounded in Vietnam would not necessarily be all that impressed with what Trump describes as his bravery.
They might also not be impressed by his very recent comment that he “always wanted (wanted!) to get the Purple Heart; this was much easier,” when he was handed a real veteran’s medal at a campaign event. Does he even begin to understand that the Purple Heart is awarded only to men and women who are killed or wounded in combat? That only a fool would want to win the Purple Heart?
Our heroic almost-soldier also claims that because his parents sent him to an expensive military-themed prep school, he received “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” Which no doubt explains Trump’s absolute knowledge that “our military is a disaster” and his boast that “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me!” How could we not believe him, given all that training and experience that he got in high school?
Read the rest of Don Burns's op-ed HERE.

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