“If we’re going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”
Donald Trump is wildly inconsistent when it comes to his reverence for the U.S. military.
He chastises athletes who take a knee during the national anthem to protest ethnic inequality, claiming it’s disrespectful to veterans. “They were fighting for our country, they were fighting for our flag, they were fighting for our national anthem,” he said. “For people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of our national anthem I think is disgraceful.”
But he also has a long history of insulting veterans and their families.
Most recently, he accused Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, of lying. Trump denies the widow’s assertion that Trump said Johnson “knew what he was signing up for” when he was killed in action in Niger. Trump also had a war of words with Gold Star father Khzir Khan during the 2016 campaign and insulted Sen. John McCain, a former POW, saying, “I like people that weren’t captured.”
Over the weekend, McCain struck back by taking a shot at Trump and other wealthy people who avoided serving in Vietnam.
“One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur,” McCain said during an interview with C-SPAN 3. “That is wrong. That is wrong. If we’re going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.” While McCain didn’t call out Trump by name, the president had four deferments for educational reasons and, upon receiving his diploma, received another for bone spurs in his heels.
“I had a doctor that gave me a letter — a very strong letter on the heels,” Trump told The New York Times, “Over a period of time, it healed up.” While Trump may have had a problem in his heel, according to a 2014 trauma-clinic study, 38% of the population has some form of heel spur. And according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, only about 5% of people with spurs have any pain at all.