To the editor:
A while back at a campaign rally, a person presented Donald Trump with a Purple Heart. Mr. Trump accepted it and said, “Thanks, I’ve always wanted one.” I have been bothered by this incident in more than one way.
First off, it just seemed to me to be very unusual for someone to serve in combat, get wounded and awarded the Purple Heart and then after he is a civilian he decides to go to a Trump rally and take his medal along with him to present to Mr. Trump. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I am just saying that it is unusual.
My younger brother came back from Vietnam with medals, including a couple of Bronze Stars. They were very personal to him. He had a picture frame with a nice background that he displayed them on. I just can’t imagine him ever doing something like that with his medals. Maybe that is why I think it is unusual.
So, that takes me to the second issue, why didn’t some journalist get his story? Mr. Trump is complaining that the media covers stuff that they have no business with, but it seems that this is might be something important. What would motivate someone to do that? It is both a human interest story and a political science story.
Third on my list is that since there seems to have been no verification, do we really know that the event wasn’t staged? Maybe the guy just bought it on the internet and decided to play a joke on Mr. Trump? Or even worse, maybe the Trump campaign did it as a publicity photo opp? Since the story doesn’t seem to have been followed up on, we may never know.
And finally, what also seems to bother me a lot about this is that if Mr. Trump really “always wanted one,” why did he get four educational deferments from the draft? As I’ve said, I come from the Vietnam era and the draft was very active back them. In fact, since I had no college plans at the time, I thought it was pointless to get a job after high school since you could expect to be drafted shortly after, so I just enlisted two weeks after graduation to get it over with.
A lot of people today have never had the draft hanging over their heads. However, there were deferments available to delay it and maybe avoid it altogether — like being in college or being married with children, being in certain types of professions, and there were medical reasons.
So, Mr. Trump got his four education deferments while he was in college, but when he graduated he was again vulnerable. So he went to his doctor and got a “permanent medical deferment for bad feet.” It seems to me that he didn’t really “always” want a Purple Heart, it was only after the war was over and he is running for president that he says he always wanted one.
Dale R. Sedler