As a U.S Army veteran, I am troubled by President Donald Trump’s continuing disparaging remarks concerning the military and decorated veterans.
After the recent attack on the U.S base in Iraq, Trump claimed there were no casualties. The Pentagon later released the number of injured at 34, of which eight were evacuated to Germany for additional treatment. When asked about the discrepancy, Trump said, “I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things.” Traumatic brain injuries are not “headaches.” Trump’s remark was insulting to these servicemembers and their families.
Trump has a long history of insulting military members and veterans. He belittled a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in Iraq and attacked his parents. He continuously belittled Sen. John McCain's service, saying he likes people who were not captured. The late Sen. McCain was a Navy pilot shot down over North Vietnam. He was captured, underwent severe torture, and was held for six years as a prisoner of war. By saying he likes people who were not captured, Trump inferred that McCain was not a hero. Trump belittled all former American prisoners of war.
On Nov. 11, 2018, Trump failed to attend the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I because of rain, a ceremony attended by other world leaders. He also failed to attend the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery upon his return to the U.S. because his schedule was too busy.
Trump has shown little genuine respect for the military or veterans. He does not seem to be a friend of either. This lack of respect should come as no surprise, as he has shown little respect for anyone else, either — except for dictators such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and the Saudi prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud.
Kent D. Matthews