Letter to the editor News Opinion

Vietnam combat vet voices opinion on Trump and the military

Dear Editor:

As a Vietnam combat veteran, I am appalled at Mr. Trump’s disrespect for the military and the men and women who serve and defend this nation. I am also appalled at people like Congressman Chris Jacobs who defend this contempt and will not defend the men and women they put in harm’s way.

President Trump’s contempt for the U.S. military and the men and women who serve is on full display in every newspaper and news broadcast in America. An article in The Atlantic this month, (which has been confirmed by Washington Post, NYT, CNN and several other news outlets including Fox News), reports that Mr. Trump, who is a Vietnam war draft-dodger, calls people who defend this nation “losers and suckers.”

While this is not new, it spotlights how unfit Mr. Trump is to be Commander-in-Chief.

Mr. Trump displayed this contempt for the military early on when in January of 2016, he used vets as a political prop by hosting a fundraiser for veterans on a night he should have been at one of the Republican presidential candidate debates. This was supposed to show how patriotic he is.  That night he claimed he raised $6 million raised for veterans and that he was also writing a personal check for $1 million to donate, as well. The $6 million was an exaggerated number; it was a little over $5 million.

Just as onerous as exploiting vets as a political prop, however, is that for the next four months Trump was pressed by the Washington Post and other media outlets as to whether he actually gave the $1 million from his own pocket. The candidate continuously insisted that he had already $1 million but refused to provide details. Finally, a Washington Post reporter used Twitter — Trump’s preferred social-media platform — to search publicly for any veterans groups that had received Trump’s money. The Post had found that not a single veterans group large or small had received a penny from Trump. The Washington Post reported their findings in a front-page story and later that same night Trump made a $1 million donation to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a donation that he swore for four months he had already made. If the WP hadn’t shamed him into it Trump wouldn’t have given Vets a dime.

When Mr. Trump ordered a raid in Yemen early in his administration that resulted in the death of an American, Mr. Trump blamed “his generals” even though it was done on his orders.

When Russia put a bounty on U.S. forces Mr. Trump didn’t even mention this in several phone calls with Mr. Putin, let alone take any actions to protect Americans that he has ordered in harm’s way.

Recently, in the eastern part of Syria, a Russian convoy collided with U.S. troops injuring several but again, nothing from this President. This is after Mr. Trump withdrew troops from Syria and abandoned our allies, the Kurds, to appease the Russians and the Turks. Thank you.

William Fine
Brockport New York


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