It’s difficult to serve in the military – feel a deep sense of community and meaning in your life then get out and discover no one cares.
Trump has and does make flippant remarks that are borderline insulting and ignorant about service members. This bothered me – and still does. I understand what he meant and what he was communicating. But it’s a stupid statement. I don’t get it. He can’t think his life is a “war.” I am not saying my life or experience, or anyone else’s compares to his.
But his life is not on par with those engaged in combat. Combat, firefights, and deployments to war zones don’t last forever. It’s an unsustainable state. His remark was flippant and makes me consider what else he doesn’t take seriously. Why would he say that he always wanted a purple heart? It’s, if nothing else, a strange thing to say.
“If you look at wars over the years and I study wars. My life is war.” He mentioned the statement that bothered me last year on the “No Spin Zone,” near the end of the interview. I get what he’s saying, and General McChrystal’s business is predicated on the idea that war and business are very similar. But we know that from a strategic view that may have some truth – but the experiences are completely different.
Again, I don’t think this is in and of itself a big deal. I’m sure as a high powered businessman he lives a tumultuous, hectic, challenging, incredibly busy, and targeted life. Even still – no one’s shooting. It’s a profound distinction because some people who nearly die at war come back disturbed forever from a moment in their lives.
AGAIN – it’s nit-picky, I get it and so, this time – I’m a busy body. But it wasn’t an isolated innocent. He did it before in 1997 on the Howard Stern show when he said ‘sleeping around was his personal Vietnam.’ I’m sure it was funny. I’m equally sure it wasn’t out of the realm of Stern content. It’s an immature thing to say to your friend. It’s more so when you’re a public figure who is rumored to have been a draft dodger. Here’s what he said in full – “It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”
The VA is a pressing issue. Part of it really might be the very nature of the average government contract and federal employee. We can dive into that topic and spark a conversation in another article. But, it would seem as though Trump lacks respect for the American soldier. If, indeed, he was a draft dodger he might not choose to believe fighting in a war was his duty. He might be an outsider – but comments equating soldiers with himself makes him no different than any other politician. I’ve not even mentioned a majority of his remarks that are disrespectful of veterans. But the disrespectful comments towards Senator John McCain were beyond the pale. Maybe he doesn’t care. Why would anyone think he would improve the VA? I’m sure many are thinking – but would Hillary, either? I’ve no idea. But the reality might be the problems that plague the VA will persist for some time regardless of who is in office.
In my opinion – some politicians often use veterans and the emotions associated with veterans that benefit them. Some politicians, and people, embellish their service and use it as a tool to beat down others and gain an advantage. But there are heroes out there who deserve whatever we can give them, too.
The service member gets slung around the world on political marching orders. Politics and a choice isn’t something that the service member gets to have. They are serving. In what society or religion is service for a greater purpose to be avoided or downgraded? This isn’t about Trump alone but our society, in general. Why is it such a small portion of society that serves? Why do so many feel exempt from serving their country? We lack national unity. I can’t help but feel that whenever a veteran gets hired by another vet – watercooler talk is dismissive of his or her sacrifices. There are sacrifices for sure, and they can’t be dismissed.
Featured image courtesy of Townhall.