The Purple Heart is usually awarded in the name of the President and given to a U.S. service member who is injured or killed during their service in the military. But, while on the campaign trail in Virginia, a Vietnam veteran offered his purple heart to Trump.
"He said, 'That's my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.' And I said, 'Man, that's, like, that's, like, big stuff.' I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier," Trump said.
In light of the current controversy surrounding Trump’s ongoing treatment of a Golden Star family which began when Trump made a call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, many veterans are uneasy with Trump’s acceptance of the Purple Heart.
Khizr Khan and his wife made a speech during the Democratic National Convention which spoke directly to Trump regarding his statements about Muslims. The Khan’s son, Capt. Humayun Kahn (also a Purple Heart Recipient) was killed during his deployment to Iraq. Kahn was also rewarded with a Bronze Star for his actions which saved the lives of several others.
The elder Kahn spoke at the DNC and pulled out a pocket constitution asking Trump if he has ever read it. "Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America -- you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities," he said. "You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
Trump immediately responded to the Kahns that perhaps Mrs. Kahn did not speak because she was not allowed to because of her Muslim faith. And said, "I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard."
Veterans around the country are calling for Trump to apologize to the Golden Star family. The VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars with its 1.7 million members, issued a statement regarding Trump’s behavior toward the Kahns.
11 Gold Star families penned a letter to Trump, "Ours is a sacrifice you will never know. Ours is a sacrifice we would never want you to know. Your recent comments regarding the Khan family were repugnant and personally offensive to us," wrote families, who are those who have lost a family member in war. "We feel we must speak out and demand you apologize to the Khans, to all Gold Star families, and to all Americans for your offensive, and frankly anti-American comments.
You are not just attacking us, you are cheapening the sacrifice made by those we lost. You are minimizing the risk our service members make for all of us. This goes beyond politics. It is about a sense of decency. That kind of decency you mock as 'political correctness.'"
Trump received 4 deferments to evade military service during the Vietnam war and eventually got a doctor’s note excluding him from service because of bone spurs in his feet.
One veteran, Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat Representative from Illinois and Purple Heart recipient who had lost her legs during a deployment to Iraq. Posted a picture of her in the hospital when she received her honored military decoration and tweeted .@realdonaldtrump, this is how one usually looks when you are awarded the Purple Heart. Nothing easy about it.
Kahn said of Trump’s Purple Heart, "You had the time. You did not serve," Khan told Anderson Cooper. "You should have pinned that back to that veteran's chest and should have hugged him and thanked him."
Trump has since met with several members of Gold Star families in an effort to reverse the blowback of his tiff with the Khans.
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