Donald Trump, having already enraged our nation’s veterans by callously insulting the family of slain Muslim war hero Capt. Humayun Khan, doubled down on ruining his support in the military by trivializing the suffering that our soldiers go through to earn a Purple Heart – the medal given to soldiers who have been killed or injured in combat. “I’ve always wanted to get a Purple Heart,” said Trump when a veteran generously gave his medal to the candidate, then shocked the nation by saying “This was much easier.”
Yes, Mr. Trump, having something simply handed to you after no effort on your part is much easier than having your flesh and bone torn apart by flying shards of white-hot metal, enduring unimaginable pain and then months – if not years – of rehabilitation, provided you survive at all. The insult to our wounded veterans is deeply troubling and infuriating to many, and one veteran was so fed up he’s begun a campaign to get Trump his Purple Heart the right way.
First Lieutenant Cameron Kerr, who lost his leg fighting in Afghanistan, has started a campaign to send Trump to “the conflict zone of his choice,” since Trump seems to want one so badly.“It was the actual callousness of him saying, ‘I’ve always wanted one. This is much easier. There was kind of this revulsion of him making light of something people literally have to bleed or die for. Not understanding that gravity” said Kerr to the Huffington Post.
“As with seemingly everything else in his life, Mr. Trump got [a Purple Heart] handed to him instead of earning it. I fully endorse his desire to earn one and would happily oblige his interest in doing so, by being one of the first to chip in to fly him to the conflict zone of his choosing. After all, you’re never too old to follow your dreams” wrote Kerr on his GoFundMe page.
His son even designed Trump his own “Purple Trump Fantastic Medal for Huge Classy Terrific-ness and Definitely Not for Total Lightweights, Captured POW Losers, or Unfair Meanie-heads.”
The campaign is tongue-in-cheek, as Trump would obviously not go even if they did raise enough money, so Kerr has decided to get back at Trump by donating all the money to help refugees fleeing Russian firebombs and jihadi chlorine gas in the Syrian conflict. “They are much better people than Donald Trump. They’re so focused on how they can contribute, they’re so motivated. It’s especially poignant to help them because it’s a group that he has slandered as terrorists, when in fact, every time, if his people reached out and met a refugee, they would realize this person is awesome.”
Donald Trump must be self-sabotaging his campaign at this point, because his statements are just beyond the pale. Trump is a shameless coward who dodged the draft five times but has the nerve to bully grieving Gold Star families and make light of their sacrifices and who uses our veterans as a political prop but never actually helps them. We wish he would go visit a conflict zone and earn his Purple Heart the right way. Then maybe he’d learn a little perspective.
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.