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Letter: Trump’s disparagement of McCain was inexcusable

Letter: Trump’s disparagement of McCain was inexcusable

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To President Donald Trump supporters, my disagreements with you are many, but all are opinions except one — being complicit in Trump’s disparagement of Sen. John McCain — particularly his military service. I expect this from Trump, but it’s shameful and inexcusable for Americans to be complicit in their silence.

I disagreed with most of McCain’s political views, but he deserves deep respect for his service to this country, both military and civilian. Compare the two: McCain’s father was an admiral so he could have used privilege to not serve or at least, not serve in combat. Instead, he graduated the Naval Academy and requested combat duty in Vietnam. He was injured in a bomb explosion on an aircraft carrier while helping another pilot escape a fire. He was awarded both the Navy Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star for missions flown over North Vietnam. Shot down during his 23rd bombing mission, he was captured and North Vietnamese soldiers crushed his shoulder with their rifle butts and bayoneted him. He was transported to the infamous Hanoi Hilton POW camp, beaten and interrogated. Due to his father’s military status, he was offered early release but refused repatriation unless every man taken in before him was also released. He was subjected to constant beatings that left him unable to lift his arms over his head. Out of honor, he remained imprisoned for 5½ years until the release of all prisoners.

In contrast, Trump’s grandfather fled Bavaria to avoid mandatory conscription required of all citizens (i.e., draft dodging). A royal decree was later issued banishing him from the country. He ironically died from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Trump’s father refused WWII service. Then, he made sure Trump dodged the Vietnam draft by paying for a diagnosis of supposed “bone spurs.”

If you are a Trump supporter, you should hang your head in shame. If my 1st Recon Marine Corp, combat-wounded father were alive he would kick Trump’s ass for saying this and yours for being complicit. My family is full of patriotic military service — proud to be what Trump calls “suckers and losers.”

Chris Harman

Waynesboro

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