Even as “president” Trump denies that he called dead war heroes “suckers” and “losers,” the Washington Post invited us into Trump’s “long history of disparaging military service.” Trump began his attacks on the military long before he ever aspired to office, many of which were recorded for posterity in myriad appearances by Trump. In one of his most disrespectful appearances, Trump likened military service to having an STD: “If you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam, we have our own Vietnam. It’s called the dating game.” This is despicable even for Trump. How do you compare getting shot at, stabbed with bayonets, or blown away by land mines with getting a venereal disease? Who does that?
According to WaPo, Trump’s disdain for the military grew naturally out of his upbringing. Trump’s father was extremely critical of those who joined the military rather than going into business. Imagine what it must have been like for Trump’s brother Fred Jr. who joined the U.S. Air National Guard. Mary Trump, Fred Jr.’s daughter, said that Trump and his father cruelly criticized Fred Jr. for joining the military. Mary found it incredibly ironic that her uncle has become commander-in-chief of the very institution he regarded with such contempt. Also in the realm of irony, Trump’s father sent him to the New York Military Academy for five years due to his unruliness, which we can see today. Apparently, the Academy did nothing to tame him.
As Donald Trump came of age around the time of Vietnam, he used a series of deferments to attend college. After graduating in 1968, Trump faced being drafted and received his first medical deferment for “bone spurs in both heels of his feet.” The daughters of the doctor who gave Trump his diagnosis deny the reality of Trump’s bone spurs and said that their father made the diagnosis “as a favor” to Fred Sr., who was the doctor’s landlord.
This man, this liar, this con artist, oversees our country and our military. While some young people join the military for the security it can provide, others join out of a sense of loyalty and duty to our country. They know full well that if called to war, they may never come home again. That is neither a “sucker” nor a “loser.” That is a hero. The loser is the man who considered himself “lucky” and repeatedly congratulated himself for avoiding service. This man who now claims to so love our country once threatened to disown his oldest son when he considered joining the military.
Trump’s scorn for the military is clear. He hired and then belittled two generals, and his response to critics who said he “sacrificed nothing” for his country was: “I’ve made lots of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve had tremendous success.” Personal success is not and never will be a “sacrifice.” The real losers are Donald J[erk] Trump and those of us who have had to suffer through his “presidency.”
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years