I don’t ever give much credence to people who want to remain anonymous when making comments about anything. I figure if you don’t want to be held accountable for your words then you should probably just remain silent. One major exception to this would be for whistleblowers. The big difference is that they have a conscience but speaking out could cost them their livelihood as retribution. That’s why we have laws protecting them. It is a necessary part of the modern workplace as an attempt to keep people honest.
When the Atlantic article by Jeffrey Goldberg came out earlier this month about Donald Trump calling our fallen soldiers “losers” and “suckers,” I did not flinch. This sounded like something Donald Trump would say considering he is on record admitting that he likes people who weren’t captured, referring to the late Senator John McCain, a former POW in the Vietnam War.
This really hit home for me. I believe Trump spoke these words and I take great offense over his comments.
I am not a veteran. The closest I came to military service was registering for the draft in 1980 when I was already working, married, and had started a family. There were plenty of others in my family who served, none of which I would even remotely classify as a loser or sucker.
My son, Sean, brothers-in-law Bob and David, uncles Norman and Roger, great-uncle Francis, and on my wife’s side, uncle Jim and of course, aunt Eloise, who never returned home from World War II, all served our country for one reason or another. These are only a few of my family members who served and this group shares three Purple Hearts.
One doesn’t answer the needs of our country because they are a loser. It is the exact opposite. They make a great sacrifice to keep us safe and allow us to continue our way of life the way we are afforded in the Constitution. They do it for us.
A former co-worker of mine, Dave, walked with a noticeable limp. It was the result of him stepping on a land mine in the Vietnam War. It pretty much destroyed his leg from the knee down but that didn’t stop him. He never complained. He just lived with it. He had many surgeries to keep him ambulatory and he still had a great disposition for life.
Dave volunteered for the Marines at the height of the war. I was stunned that he wasn’t drafted, he volunteered. I asked him why he volunteered for service knowing full well of how bad the outcome could be. His simple answer was, “I felt it was the right thing to do.”
He felt it was the right thing to do. A solid answer from a man with unquestionable moral values. There are many more just like him. There is a name for them. Someone who puts their own safety aside to do the unthinkable for others they don’t even know. We call them heroes.
Although I believe the story, there is probably no way we will ever know the truth about what Donald Trump, the commander-in-chief actually said about our military heroes. There is only one thing more dishonorable than calling them “suckers” and “losers”. That would be denying the fact that you actually said it.
• Kevin Foster retired two years ago and is now sponging off his wife. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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