Donald Trump went too far long ago. He’s done it once again if what we understand is being reported is true … and I believe what I have read about the current president of the United States.
He has labeled those who were injured or killed in battle as “losers,” and has denigrated those who were captured by the enemy as incompetent warriors.
Trump infamously avoided service during the Vietnam War by finding a doc who would sign off on a medical deferment proclaiming young Donald suffered from bone spurs.
I’ve set the table a bit for what I want to say next.
I happen to be one of those “suckers” and “losers” who sought duty during the Vietnam War. I, of course, do not believe I fit either of those descriptions. Indeed, if there is a sucker and a loser among us, it would be Donald Trump and those like him who parlayed their family wealth and connections into avoidance of public service.
My U.S. Army training class finished its work in early 1969. All of those in our training battalion who learned how to service OV-1 Mohawk airplanes received orders for Korea. But then I developed a medical problem that forced cancellation of my orders.
I stayed behind to be treated for a training injury I suffered. While recovering from a minor surgical procedure, I volunteered for duty in ‘Nam. Why? Because I wanted to see for myself what returning servicemen had experienced during their tours.
The Army granted me my wish. Off I went and I reported for duty at Marble Mountain, Da Nang in March 1969.
Do I consider that an act of a sucker or a loser? No. I sought to serve my country. That’s what I did.
As for Donald Trump and other like-minded draft evaders, they chose another course for their lives. Trump, of course, is the one in the news these days, owing to The Atlantic article that details his loathing and disrespect of those of us who answered the call to duty.
I didn’t receive any medals for valor during my time in a war zone. I did my job to the best of my ability and then came home. At some level, though, the experience enriched me and helped me find my way through the life that awaited me.
That life hasn’t marked me as a sucker or a loser.
It damn sure enrages me when I hear a real sucker and loser like Trump portray my duty as something other than honorable.