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Influential Veterans Call Out Trump: Stop Stealing Our Money & Using Us As Political Props

Influential Veterans Call Out Trump: Stop Stealing Our Money & Using Us As Political Props

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Despite his numerous assertions otherwise, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has little use for our veterans except as a prop to pull out on stage for a few obligatory cheers – and our veterans are very well aware of that fact. Veterans groups around the country are sick and tired of being used for political puff points and then forgotten about as Trump then switches to all the ways they’re going to make new veterans with their dangerous warmongering – and they haven’t forgotten the way Trump ruthlessly mocked Sen. John McCain for being shot down, captured, and tortured during the Vietnam War.

To that point, fifty prominent veterans released a statement slamming him for his disrespect the dangerously incoherent mulch of half-formed and contradictory “ideas” that Trump passes off as a foreign policy.

Donald Trump recently discovered a new love for America’s veterans, promising that a Trump administration will ‘treat them really, really well.’ Yet after a publicity stunt earlier this year when he ditched a GOP debate to hold an event on behalf of veterans, his campaign still hasn’t distributed more than half of the $6 million dollars it allegedly raised. They don’t even know where that money has gone. And worse, this is part of a long pattern of the real Donald J. Trump, who for over a decade tried to get disabled veterans, legally operating as street vendors, thrown off of Fifth Avenue in New York City. He said that these Americans, who were simply trying to earn a living in the country they gave so much to defend, were ‘clogging and seriously downgrading the area.’

And yet, even as Donald Trump denigrates our nation’s current veterans, he’s putting our future veterans at risk with a risky and incoherent foreign policy. Republican and Democratic national security professionals agree that a Trump administration would make America dangerously less safe while reducing its standing and influence in the world. His embrace of both military adventurism and isolationism, and his support of the use of torture will not only recklessly place our troops in harm’s way, but will dramatically increase the risk to our service members serving in operations overseas. Trump’s policies are detrimental to the young men and women who volunteer to serve this country, from the moment they join the armed services to the end of their career, civilian or military. He can’t be trusted, by our veterans or anyone else.

It’s time for Donald Trump to stop using vets as political props, donate the rest of the money he raised and build a real understanding of the needs and concerns of the men and women who have served America.

His failure to properly disburse charity funds and his long history of disrespect towards our armed forces is old news. What is worthy of fresh discussion is the recent “foreign policy” speech that Donald Trump gave a few weeks ago. In it, he lays out his plans for our international relations – and they are utter nonsense. He complains that our military is shrinking and underfunded and we must make it “great” again, then in the next sentence complains about the national debt and how we can’t afford to spend anymore. He said we should be isolationist and stay out of foreign conflicts, but also we should intervene to save Christians trapped in Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)-held territory. President Obama doesn’t support our allies enough, but President Trump would cut off their military aid and let them fend for themselves.

The disciplined and well-trained members of our military recognize that this rampant inconsistency is evidence not only of a lack of conviction but also a shocking lack of basic understanding as to how international relations works. Such reckless ignorance is a clear and present danger for our brave military men and women who will be putting their lives on the line when push comes to shove – and they don’t want Trump to be making those decisions.

Here are the names of the men and women who signed the statement in protest of Trump:

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Former Senator Max Cleland, Captain, U.S. Army, 1965-1968
Congressman Ruben Gallego, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, 2000-2006
Congressman Seth Moulton, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, 2001-2008
State Senator Pat Spearman, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, 1977-2007
State Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 2001-2005
State Representative Hank Naughton, U.S. Army Reserves
Seamus P. Ahern, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, 2000-2006
Lee Beaulac, Sergeant, U.S. Army, 1966-1970
Patrick Bellon, Specialist, U.S. Army, 2002-2005
Charlie Brown, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force, 1972-1998
William Bunch, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 1982-1988
Tahlia Burton, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 2008-2013
Laura Cabrera, Petty Officer 1st Class, U.S. Navy, 1998-2006
Robert Cain, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 2001-2007
Virgel Cain, Petty Officer 2nd Class, U.S. Navy, 1963-1968
Jason Cain, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, 2000-2010
Jane Campbell, Captain, U.S. Navy, 1990-2015
Kelsey Campbell, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 2002-2009
Matthew J. Cary, Specialist, U.S. Army Reserve, 1969-1975
Asha Castleberry, Captain, U.S. Army, 2005-2015
Margaret Cope, Colonel, U.S. Air Force, 1981-2011
Carlos Del Toro, Commander, U.S. Navy, 1979-2004
Greg Douquet, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, 1985-2015
Sean M. Easter, Sergeant, U.S. Army, 2002-2010
Thomas Fant, Seaman, U.S. Coast Guard, 1996-1998
Sonia Fernandez, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 1993-1996
Jonathan Freeman, Captain, U.S. Army, 2004-2008
Kristofer Goldsmith, Sergeant, U.S. Army, 2004-2007
Kia Thomas Hamel, Petty Officer 3rd Class, U.S. Navy, 1994-1998
Robert S. Hamer, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, 2011-2016
Gail Harris, Captain, U.S. Navy, 1973-2001
Kate Hoit, Specialist, U.S. Army Reserve, 2001-2009
Keith Howard-Streicher, Specialist, U.S. Army, 2008-2011
Andrew Janiszewski, Captain, U.S. Air Force, 2006-2014
Tony Johnson, Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, 1994-1997
Brian Adam Jones, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 2009-2013
Peter James Kiernan, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 2007-2013
Hansen Mak, Captain, U.S. Army, 1996-2008
Alexander McCoy, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 2008-2013
Justin McFarlin, Captain, U.S. Army, 2005-2010
Jillian McNerney, Captain, U.S. Air Force, 2004-2012
Michael McNerney, Captain, U.S. Air Force, 2002-2006
Sua Peni Mene, Sergeant Major U.S. Army, 1988-2015
Rob Miller, Major, U.S. Marine Corps, 1995-2008
Tom Mullens, Petty Officer 3rd Class, U.S. Navy, 1971-1977
George A. Pivik, Colonel, U.S. Army, 1993-2013
Lawrence Ramos, Petty Officer 3rd Class, U.S. Navy, 1943-1952
Anne Jordan Rawley, Captain, U.S. Navy, 1966-1994
Dmitriy Redka, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1997-2005
Scott Rutter, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army 1983-2003
Terron Simms II, Captain, U.S. Army, 2000-2005
Tommy Sowers, Major, U.S. Army, 1998-2009
Bobby J. Thornburg, Colonel, U.S. Army, 1968-2000
Adam Tiffen, U.S. Army, 2005-2008
Martin E. Torrey, Commander, U.S. Navy, 1972-1992
Shawn VanDiver, Petty Officer 1st Class, U.S. Navy, 2001-2013
Loren Voss, Captain, U.S. Air Force, 2008-2013
Patricia Webb, Colonel, U.S. Air Force, 1978-2011
Tony Woods, Captain, U.S. Army, 2003-2008

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Colin Taylor
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.

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