President Donald Trump on Friday called out a school resource officer as a coward for failing to confront the gunman who killed 17 people at a Florida high school last week. He seems quick to point to those he finds lacking when it comes to valor. In July 2015, candidate Trump dismissed Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war for roughly five and a half years during Vietnam, by stating, "I like people who weren't captured." He publicly disrespected Khizr Muazzam Khan and Ghazala Khan, the gold-star Pakistani-American parents of Army captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in combat in 2004 and posthumously awarded a Purple Heart for his bravery.
Like the students who survived this latest massacre, this disabled vet calls B.S.
In 1968 more than half a million American men were stationed in Vietnam by the end of the year, one of the bloodiest 12 months of the conflict. On the day of 22-year-old Donald Trump's graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, 40 Americans were killed in Vietnam, according to The New York Times. Trump was a fit athlete who played football, tennis and golf. And as proclaimed earlier this year, was the picture of health. He was exactly what those men, and his country, needed.
But instead of stepping up, he did what most sons of the wealthy did at the time…he dodged the draft. For many years he claimed it was a high draft number that kept him out of the war.
“I’ll never forget; that was an amazing period of time in my life,” he said in the interview, on Fox 5 New York. “I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers, and I got a very, very high number.”
Forget he’d graduated from Wharton 18 months before the lottery. Mr. Trump had been medically exempted for more than a year when the draft lottery began in December 1969, well before he received what he has described as his “phenomenal” draft number.
Between 1964 and 1972, a few months before the draft ended, he received five deferments — in addition to his "bone spurs" claim, the other four were based on his educational status. He received two deferments while he attended Fordham University from 1964 to 1966, and two more after transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Selective Service records that remain in the National Archives — many have been discarded — do not specify what medical condition exempted Mr. Trump from military service, and Trump has been as hazy as his records. He doesn’t quite remember when it stopped bothering him and often has trouble identifying which foot. He does know he’s never had surgery to correct the condition.
On February 15th, that officer had moments to decide whether he wanted to face down an unknown assailant or assailants armed with assault weapons with his handgun and no backup. Trump had years to find excuses to avoid serving alongside the thousands who served in Viet Nam.