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Letter to the Editor

New Bern Sun Journal Editorial 

Sunday, September 14, 2020


Trump’s true lack of respect for our military


When I read Jeffrey Gold­berg’s Atlantic article, “Trump: Americans who Died in War were ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers'”, I was appalled and then angry.

My anger was justified when even Fox News validated key aspects of this article. As a retired Navy admiral, I know that the men and women – I served with – especially at the Navy Command Center in the Pentagon and who were killed on 9/11 – were certainly not ‘losers.’

Goldberg’s article put several pieces of the puzzle together on Trump’s history of disdain for our military starting with his multiple deferments during Vietnam, the last being alleged bone spurs in his foot. He threatened to disown his own children if they ever enlisted in the military – Tiffany would lose financial support if she enlisted in the military according to the prenuptial agreement with second wife Marla Maples; and Donald Jr., who was con­sidering enlisting in the Army, was threatened to be disowned by Trump.

Trump’s 2015 attacks on Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as a “loser” and “not a war hero” for being a Vietnam POW; his 2016 attack on the Khans, a Gold Star family whose son died in Iraq; and his remarks that “I know more than the generals and admirals”, take on a more disturbing context now.

Don’t be lulled into thinking Trump is now supportive of our military. Listen to his words carefully when he says he loves “my” military. He acts as if our military were his own personal army that he can use to continue his assaults on our rule of law and our Constitution.

One should take special heed of the words and actions of General John Kelly and General James Mattis. When Trump asked General Kelly to sign an oath of loyalty to him when asked to lead the FBI, Kelly refused and said he took an oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States”. This summer after Trump used the military to clear a path through peaceful protesters in Washington DC for a photo op, General Mattis said that Trump was a “threat to the Constitution.”

Trump’s actions should not be tolerated anymore. The future of our Nation depends on a change at the top of our government now, and we have that opportunity on November 3rd when we exercise our Constitutional right to vote.

Jay Deloach, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired), New Bern