Donald Trump’s latest insult to veterans may have been an attempt to compare his lack of service to the price paid by a veteran who gifted a copy of his own Purple Heart award.
According to Buzzfeed, Mr. Trump invited the veteran to the stage and introduced him as Lt. Col. Lewis Dorfman. The Purple Heart was awarded to Dorfman for wounds received in combat in Iraq. Trump claimed the veteran told him the medal was the actual Purple Heart he received for his service in 2007. Mr. Dorfman told NBC News it was a copy of his Purple Heart and not the original as Trump claimed, according to BuzzFeed.
When a veteran gifts one of his medals to another person, it is nothing to take lightly. Particularly the Purple Heart, which is highly esteemed among military members and veterans. Trump awkwardly expressed his gratitude:
Man, that’s like big stuff. I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.
Civilians do not “get” the Purple Heart. Trump never served, having received four college deferments during the Vietnam era before he was declared unfit to serve due to heel spurs. Trump has also quipped that venereal disease was his “personal Vietnam.”
Trump has come under criticism from both Democrats and Republicans because of his caviler treatment of the Gold Star parents of a soldier killed in Iraq who criticized Trump as being sexist and anti-Muslim during Kazir Khan, the father’s speech at the Democratic convention. His response to the criticism that he had not sacrificed was that his years in business were comparable to Captain Khan’s sacrifice for the country. Trump also disparaged Senator John McCain’s Vietnam service because he was a POW.
While Trump claims to be supportive of veterans and he has donated significant sums of money to veterans’ memorials and various causes, he has also been condemned by the largest veteran’s group, Veterans of Foreign Wars for his treatment of Khan. They can now add trivializing the Purple Heart award gifted to him by one who served to his list of slights.