Imagine spending the 1960s, hobbled by bone spurs, dancing through the pain and dodging incoming STDs. That was Trump’s service to his country. It was ignoble, dishonorable, but somebody had to do it. And why not someone burdened by family money and a freedom from conscience.
It was this dedication to duty that has given the man the right to criticize. And he wasted no time in doing so as a presidential candidate.
He pointed out that John McCain was not a hero. But rather a malingerer, who shirked his patriotic responsibilities by allowing himself to be shot down and captured. And then sitting out the next 5½ years at the Hanoi Hilton — probably by the pool.
And unlike other politicians, who just sat around listening to generals, Trump watched hours and hours of ‘the shows’ to burnish his military expertise. Not for him a briefing here and there. But a solid three hours in the morning, another three at night – and weekends too. That’s dedication.
Not that everybody appreciated his effort. No matter how much he exerted himself — thinking of nothing but country — there was always some Gold Star family, like the Kahns, waving a Constitution around and shamelessly exploiting their son’s death to protest Trump’s pro-America policies.
Khizr Khan compounded his disrespect with the ridiculous charge: “You have sacrificed nothing. And no one.” To which I say: Let me refer you back to Trump’s service in the ‘60s.
Then Trump upped his game during the campaign by skipping a primary debate to host a fundraiser for veterans. He promised $1 million from his own pocket. How was it his fault that the check got lost in the mail? I’m sure he must have paid it by now — right?
As President, Trump has called the family of every American killed in combat — except for the ones he hasn’t. And they probably got a letter. And if they haven’t, they may well do so any day now.
Timeliness has always been a Trump hallmark. A mere two weeks after the death of 4 Americans in Niger he was on the telephone consoling the distraught. In one memorable moment of empathy, he assured the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson that the death of “your guy” was pretty much inevitable, as he “knew what he signed up for”.
Trump modestly denied he had been that compassionate — even claiming he had ‘proof’ he wasn’t that noble. But witnesses swore to his empathy.
Even though his regard of the new Gold Star families has been at a seemingly unimprovable level, Trump has on occasion shown another gear — as grieving father Chris Baldridge discovered. Moved by the sacrifice of his son, Trump promised him $25,000 — but wouldn’t you know, some damn-fool staffer forgot to put the check in the envelope.
Luckily, The Washington Post brought the error to the attention of a grateful President — and the White House assured the public that the check was going to be correctly sent out today.
As caring as he is of strangers, Trump is even more solicitous of his aides. He devoted some of his valuable media time to ensure his Chief of Staff’s son’s death was made a public spectacle. Obama may have been too busy playing golf to call the General — but Trump ensured the event got the press attention it deserved. And no doubt John Kelly is grateful to his boss.
And let’s not forget that while our President is calling ‘all’ (in Trumpese that means ‘some’) of the families of dead soldiers, he isn’t letting his attention wander. He is also working his fingers to the bone to fight the scourge of unpatriotic NFLers exercising their free speech rights. Because that’s the kind of patriot he has been since he begged to be sent away to military school.
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