To old Marine and all the other vets on OPP, both ... (
Forgive me, any who are already familiar with this old post of mine, but my feelings for Vets...especially those from 'Nam run deep. The below article & my following commentary may help explain a major source of my distaste for Donald Trump. I doubt my lack of regard for him will ever change, though I regret that it often creates a schism between myself and others. For more on the following....
Internet search: 'donaldtrumpspersonalvietnam '
In 1997, Donald Trump, who showed his personal courage by dodging the draft in the 1960’s, had the gall to compare his heroism by sleeping with multiple women to the heroism shown by the brave men and women who served the United States in Vietnam.
Interviewed by Howard Stern in 1997-98, Trump had the audacity to make the incredible claim that, by risking his schlong to venereal disease from his sexual peccadilloes, his courage matched those who gave their lives facing mortar fire and bullets across the sea. Speaking of his sexual exploits, Trump bragged, “I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier”...Donald Trump, likening his risk of STDs from sleeping around to American soldiers in Vietnam. In one interview, he went so far as to suggest that his exploits were worthy of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Trump has a history of hyperbolic statements regarding his own courage, having likened his time in military boarding school to actual military training. He told the author of a book about Trump that his time in military school gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” The rich man protected himself by gaining multiple deferments to avoid being drafted while others fought overseas.
Trump likening himself to genuine heroes dovetails with his “genuine” regard for veterans in general; Trump’s respect ends when it endangers his business. In 1991, he wrote a letter to John Dearie, then-chairman of the state Assembly’s Committee on Cities, decrying the presence of veterans who were peddling on Fifth Avenue. Trump wrote: “While disabled veterans should be given every opportunity to earn a living, is it fair to do so to the detriment of the city as a whole or its tax paying citizens and businesses? Do we allow Fifth Ave., one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?” The city of New York started making peddling exceptions for veterans in 1894 so disabled Civil War veterans could make a living.
Of course, this is also the same man of courage who said of Sen. John McCain, locked in a box for five years in Vietnam rather than desert his comrades-in-arms, “He’s not a war hero. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
Trump comparing his risk of venereal disease to the heroism of those who fought and died for their country is enough to turn your stomach.
Feeling further comments were due about Donald Trumps' interview on the Howard Stern Show about twenty years ago, I wrote the following:
In the field, particularly, but also on the hospital ship USS Sanctuary in 1968, I saw kids my age whose bodies were ripped apart by gunfire from rifles or automatic weapons, artillery rounds, mortar rounds and booby traps from the enemy in Viet Nam. My lesser wounds allowed me times to walk through the wards visiting those who were left without arms, legs, genitals or had suffered damage to various body parts...to include their facial structure and features. Many had also lost all sense of who they were before incurring such wounds, from psychological and emotional damage. A kid younger than I from a bed near mine ended up dying. IMO, he died of a broken heart. The day before, he had received a 'Dear John' letter from his fiancee' back home. That letter (again, IMO) destroyed his will to live. This, after he had struggled mightily to achieve a certain degree of recovery, enough for having been scheduled to go on to Japan for better treatment and surgery necessary to guarantee a somewhat normal life.
For Trump, in any way, to compare the 'dangers' of dating from STDs, etc. to the experiences of young men who sacrificed their lives or body parts in combat service to their country in Viet Nam or any war was/is abominable to me. When I first became aware of his comments, I was livid with anger. This many years later, I am reminded of his callousness and obvious disregard for the feelings of friends or families who lost loved ones in that or any war shown by Mr. Trump. Whether one chooses to call his tone mocking, sarcastic, or just down-right thoughtless...I cannot forgive him. Neither could I tolerate his belittling of John McCain's service or the associated belittling of all POWs for 'getting captured.' I won't listen to anybody who tells me he didn't demean all of them with his all-encompassing remarks. I watched while listening to his own words. I personally know two living POWs and knew a survivor of the Bataan death march of American POWs in WWII. The last died a number of years ago, but the other two survived tortuous treatment by their captors and remain with us today. By surviving, they each were able to return and have families that, no doubt, help each forget the months and years of their imprisonments.
Trump's statements exceeded stupid, especially since he was playing to an audience and being recorded, both for radio and TV...and, for posterity. He was, at that time, around the age of fifty...an age most would have shown some maturity and empathy for those who did not have his good fortune in escaping service before, during and after college, but instead served their nation. Again, the families and friends of those who either didn't return from that horrific war, or, returned physically and/or psychologically maimed did/do not need to be hearing of Mr. Trump's bravery and courage in the dating game being equated to other's service to country.