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Trump 72: Dissing veterans


Best thing, for a presidential contender, when it comes to veterans, is if they’ve been there for veterans through the years. I’m not among the crowd who argue that military service should be a prerequisite for serving as president (though I don’t think it hurts). But some awareness of how the military works sure would help, and appreciation for their service should be. Lip service is okay if it’s backed by action – at the least, doing what you say you’re going to do.

Donald Trump has offered the lip service – but over and over, backed up by nothing.

His Iowa stunt last winter of holding a supposed fundraiser for veterans as an excuse for skipping a primary election debate might have worked but for his failure promptly to follow through with payments to the veterans organizations he had promised to help.

On at least one occasion he has had an opportunity to do something for veterans. He pointed out to ABC News, “I was very responsible along with a group of people for getting the Vietnam Memorial built.”

Well, he had a connection to it. Sort of.

A 1984 article in the Washington Post said that Trump was a member of the board formed to get the memorial, in New York, built. That doesn’t make him a leading figure in the effort, necessarily, but it’s something. He has made enough of a big deal out of it as to include his “work” on the memorial as one of the “sacrifices” he made on behalf of the country.

However, the Post also points out that he blew off most of the meetings: “One official of the Vietnam Commission, who has attended all the meetings, maintains Trump has been to only two or three out of 20 meetings. This was confirmed by another member of the commission. The first time he attended a meeting was to launch the commission, one source says, and the second was when he arrived with a reporter who was profiling him.”

The next time that Donald Trump claims he is going to take care of our veterans, someone needs to ask him exactly what he means by that statement because his entire personal history involves using veterans for publicity. – rs

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