Tag Archives: bone spurs

Trump’s belittling of brass simply stinks beyond belief

The history of Donald Trump’s pre-business history is well-known.

He sought to avoid service in the military during the height of the Vietnam War. He received dubious medical deferments citing bone spurs or some such ailment that kept him out of being eligible for military service.

He went into business. Made a lot of money. Lost a lot of money. Had mixed success as a business mogul. Then he went into politics. He ran for president of the United States. He won!

So for this current president to dress down men who have served their country honorably, in combat, thrust themselves into harm’s way is insulting, degrading and astonishingly unpatriotic.

Two reporters for the Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, have written a book that tells just how disgraceful Trump’s conduct has gotten with regard to the military high command. An excerpt from that book tells of a meeting in a Pentagon room called The Tank. The brass sought to explain the nuts and bolts of military matters to the commander in chief. He was having none of it.

He called the generals “babies and dopes.” He has told them they are “losers” and said he wouldn’t “go into battle” with them.

I am trying imagine, were I one of those decorated combat veterans, hearing such denigration coming from the commander in chief. The entire world knows this man’s history. We all know that, when he had the opportunity to serve his country, he chose another path.

Don’t misunderstand me on this score. I do not begrudge a president who’s never worn the nation’s military uniform. Two recent presidents did not serve: Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. Neither did Franklin Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson, both of whom led this country through two world wars.

What is so objectionable is the snarky attitude this president demonstrates to individuals who have done what he sought to avoid doing. That he would speak to these patriots in such a manner is disgraceful on its face.

Military service becoming a 2020 issue in POTUS campaign?

Here’s a bet I’m willing to make: If Joe Biden becomes the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee, he will not discuss the bone spurs that kept Donald Trump out of military service during the Vietnam War.

Why? It turns out the former vice president has a potentially dubious medical deferment issue of his own. It appears that childhood asthma kept the ex-VP from being drafted into the military during the war. He had a 1-Y deferment, which disqualified him from the draft.

Now, is it more real, more legitimate than the bone spurs that Trump claimed to have while he was getting those multiple deferments back in the old days? I don’t know.

Veterans across the country, though, are looking at the field of Democrats running for their party’s nomination. Of the whole lot of them, we have three vets seeking the presidency: Pete Buttigieg, a Navy reserve officer who served in Afghanistan, Tulsi Gabbard, who served with the Hawaii Army National Guard in Afghanistan as well as in Kuwait and Seth Moulton, a Marine who also saw service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To be honest, this veteran — as in me — hasn’t made military service a determining factor in deciding for whom to vote for president. Heck, I voted for a draft-dodger twice, in 1992 and 1996. Yes, Bill Clinton’s clumsy explanation about not remembering getting a draft notice didn’t go down well with me, nor with other veterans. I feel confident in disclosing that those who did get a draft notice never “forget” that moment.

However, it didn’t deter me from voting for him for president.

Trump’s deferments do seem phony. He also continues to blather about hypotheticals involving that time. He said recently would have been “honored” to serve. Hmm. And this individual who lies about everything at every opportunity no matter its significance expects me to believe that?

I’ll just stand by my wager that Joe Biden damn sure should steer far away from this military service matter if he intends (a) to be nominated by Democrats and (b) then defeat Donald Trump.

The field is full of issues to raise against the president that have nothing to do with bone spurs, the Vietnam War and medical deferments.

Mr. POTUS, your service now isn’t the same as it might have been

I want to visit one more — and I hope final — time the manner in which Donald Trump avoided military service during the Vietnam War.

He received medical deferments related supposedly to bone spurs. Young Donald received several such deferments while young men were dying in Vietnam, a country that was “so far away,” as the president noted recently in an interview with Piers Morgan.

He says that his time now as president is making up for his lack of service when he was of age to wear a military uniform.

I also recall Trump telling us when he was running for president that his military school enrollment passed as more or less the same as serving in the actual military. No … it wasn’t even close to the same as what many of us were enduring in the late 1960s. Really, I know what I went through in the Army and I am quite sure that Donald Trump didn’t experience the things millions of us did during that time.

Trump says now he would have been “honored” to serve. Really? Well, I don’t know how one can refute such a contention, except to remind the president that he could have sucked it up, locked and loaded a weapon and, well, served his country.

He didn’t do it, just as his father didn’t serve during World War II.

Instead, according to congressional committee testimony delivered by his former friend and lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump once said, “Do you think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam!”

Mr. President, I don’t believe my service in Vietnam was a “stupid” act. I also don’t think others of us who did answer our nation’s call believe they were acting stupidly.

We merely did our duty, Mr. President.

OK, on this matter I am out … I hope.

‘I was never a fan of that war’

Whenever I hear Donald Trump discuss matters of service to country or commitment to something bigger than himself — if that’s possible — I always am left with the feeling of insincerity.

Such as when he talked about the bone spurs that kept him out of service during the Vietnam War. He spoke of that time with Piers Morgan, the former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant with whom Trump is quite familiar. Trump is traveling in Europe this week. He sat down with Morgan, who’s now a British TV personality.

Morgan asked Trump about Vietnam, the war and the bone spur-induced medical deferment he sought and received to avoid service.

“I was never a fan of that war,” Trump told Morgan. He said the war was being fought “far away” in a land that few Americans knew about at the time.

Hmmph!

Not a “fan,” eh? Well,  I wasn’t a “fan” of that war, either. In 1968, though, I damn sure knew where it was. I knew what was going on there. I accepted induction into the U.S. Army that summer. I swore an oath to protect the nation, boarded a bus in downtown Portland, Ore., and rode about three hours to Fort Lewis, Wash., to begin my basic training.

I completed that training. I flew to Fort Eustis, Va., where I learned how to service OV-1 Mohawk surveillance aircraft. My training company got orders for South Korea. However, I stayed behind to take care of a medical matter. They canceled my orders for Korea. I got well, then volunteered for duty in Vietnam. The Army granted my request. I arrived in the spring of 1969, served my time there and came home.

Let’s remember that according to Michael Cohen, the former lawyer/friend of Trump who’s now in prison for lying to Congress, Trump once declared that he “wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Cohen said during a congressional hearing that he implored his friend to get ahead of the Vietnam story, but said Trump responded, “Do you think I’m stupid?” and then said he wasn’t about to serve in Vietnam.

Did he declare himself to be a conscientious objector? Did he cite deep emotional commitments to non-violence? Has he ever participated in marches against the war?

Let me think. I seriously doubt all of it.

Trump’s reported declaration to Michael Cohen serves as a Trump-like insult to those of us who did answer the nation’s call during that time of intense national tumult and turmoil.

Thus, when this clown says anything about that time in his life and its intersection with that time of national crisis, well, I don’t get even the tiniest hint of sincerity about his not being a “fan of that war.”

Mayor Pete takes it straight to POTUS

Pete Buttigieg is stepping it up while touting his military, executive government and public service experience.

Consider what he said during a recent interview about Donald J. Trump’s “bone spur” medical deferment during the Vietnam War.

Buttigieg is one of more than 20 candidates running for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. He said Trump used his family’s wealth and privilege to concoct the bone spur deferment that kept him out of the military during the height of that war.

“If he were a conscientious objector, I’d admire that,” Buttigieg said. “But this is somebody who, I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was the child of a multi-millionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place.”

You go, Mayor Pete!

Indeed, Trump has managed — according to congressional testimony given by Michael Cohen, his former lawyer/friend/fixer — to insult millions of Americans who did serve in Vietnam. Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Trump said, “Do you think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Trump was trying at the time to hide the details of those medical deferments from the public.

So, only “stupid” Americans went to war in Vietnam? Is that what he said? Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. Call me “stupid.”

Buttigieg did volunteer for service in the Navy and did serve in Afghanistan. So, he does have more military experience than Trump. He also has said he has more military experience than any president since the late George H.W. Bush.

It remains an open question, of course, whether any of this will resonate with voters, who knew about Trump’s dubious deferment when he ran for president in 2016.

Still, I stand with Mayor Pete Buttigieg on this matter, that Trump used — and abused — his standing as a child of privilege when others of his generation found a way to thrust themselves into harm’s way.

Show us the bone spur records, Mr. POTUS

Bob Kerrey has pitched a perfectly logical notion for the president of the United States, who has been plagued by doubters who question his assertion that “bone spurs” kept him out of military service during the Vietnam War.

Show us the medical record, Mr. President. That is the suggestion offered by Kerrey, a former Democratic U.S. senator from Nebraska. Oh, I also must point out that Kerrey is a former Navy SEAL, a Vietnam War combat veteran and a Medal of Honor recipient who lost one of his legs fighting the enemy during that horrible time.

Bone spurs don’t heal themselves, Kerrey said. You need surgery to repair them. The president has never mentioned surgery.

The bone spur issue keeps recurring because Trump keeps yapping about military matters in ways that bring these questions to the forefront.

Such as his ongoing and crass attacks against the late Sen. John McCain, the former Vietnam War prisoner who died of cancer this past August. Trump once denigrated McCain’s POW status, saying he was a “hero only because he was captured.”

Trump got several medical deferments during the Vietnam War. He has cited bone spurs. Well, just like the tax returns he keeps saying are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, he has not provided a shred of evidence that he even had bone spurs; he also hasn’t produced a letter by the IRS declaring that it was auditing his tax returns, which he said has precluded him from releasing those returns for public review.

The president also reportedly told his former lawyer/confidant Michael Cohen that he had no intention of going to Vietnam. “Do you think I’m stupid?” Cohen said Trump asked him. Kerrey has taken offense at that notion, saying that Trump “sees all of us who went to Vietnam as fools. We were the suckers. We were the stupid ones. We were the ones that didn’t have the resources to be able to get out of the draft.”

Kerrey said this, as reported by the Huffington Post: “While John McCain was flying combat operations in Vietnam, you were, I think, falsifying that you had bone spurs in order not to go to Vietnam,” said Kerrey, a 1992 presidential candidate who retired from the Senate in 2000. “Now I know lots of people who avoided the draft, but this isn’t what he’s saying. He said ‘I physically couldn’t go,’ Well, Mr. President, get your feet X-rayed and let’s see those bone spurs. I don’t think he has them.”

Frankly, neither do I.

Tough talk betrays history of, um, non-toughness

I just cannot get past Donald Trump’s history as I listen to his tough-talk in the moment.

The president told Breitbart News that the military is on his side, as are the police, and — of course! — the “Bikers for Trump.” He said they don’t usually play tough, but they might if things don’t go their way — and favorably for the president.

Then it would get “very bad, very bad,” he said.

Do you remember the president’s reaction to the massacre at Parkland, Fla., when a gunman opened fire, killing several high school students and teachers? He criticized the deputy sheriff on duty at the campus who reportedly waited outside while all hell was breaking loose. Then the president said he would have gone in with guns-a-blazin’.

Imagine that, will ya?

This is the same fellow who when he was much younger had the chance to take up arms against our nation’s enemies in Vietnam, but then developed a case of bone spurs. A doctor issued him permission to obtain several medical deferments that kept him far away from the Vietnam War.

Oh, and then we heard just recently from his former lawyer/fixer/confidant Michael Cohen, who said Trump once told him, “Do you think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.” Those of us who did go to ‘Nam when the guns were shooting and the bombs were falling well could have taken offense at the “stupid” remark.

Donald Trump’s toughness, I will venture to say, is a figment of his own narcissism.