Handed a Purple Heart at a campaign appearance, Donald Trump told the audience he had always wanted one. He failed to mention that he had forgone his opportunity to actually earn one by dodging the draft and failing to enlist for military service during the Vietnam War.
Nor did Trump mention actual recipients of the Purple Heart, like John McCain; who he defamed as a “loser” at the outset of his campaign. Neither did he mention that the final award to a fallen soldier is the Purple Heart given to his or her family posthumously, like the Khan family who he attacked after his ego was “wounded.”
As a combat veteran of Vietnam with a “real” Purple Heart, I am aghast at Trump’s action but sadly believe it is totally in character. Trump does not honor veterans. He believes we are chumps and losers who did not know any better than to be drafted or volunteer to serve our country.
I believe this is especially true of those who served in Vietnam, a war he actively avoided. Trump is not the first candidate to have avoided Vietnam service, but he is clearly the most cynical about it.