Like President Trump I did not serve during the Vietnam conflict. Unlike him I didn’t use my family’s position to gain a questionable deferment; I was simply fortune enough to get a 333 in the lottery. Few in my family of my generation or younger have served. Nonetheless I respect the service of our active and veteran military. I may not agree with their mission(s), but they didn’t cut their own orders and their service is as noble as any in our history. Trump has a history of exploiting veterans and that has continued into his brief tenure in the White House. Despite not having a “horse in this race” I think it is shameful!
Trump has a history of exploiting veterans. (Why not, he exploits almost everyone he comes into contact with.) During the campaign he famously held an event hosted by a “veterans’ group” and was endorsed by them. Trump described the group as having “Hundreds of thousands” of members. Later it was revealed that the “veterans’ group” had a membership of one and a very shady history.
Then there was the event he hosted on the night of a Republican Primary debate as part of a spat with Fox News. During it he personally pledged to donate $1 million to veterans’ causes. It was only the diligent reporting of the Washington Post’s David Farenthold that finally forced Trump to come up with the money.
For decades one of America’s great challenges has been providing veterans returning to civilian life with jobs. During his business career Trump has either directly employed or had significant influence on the hiring of tens of thousands if not more. Yet I have never heard of any program he was involved in that recruited veterans or gave them preference in employment. I have heard of many instances of Trump recruiting foreigners for employment. This includes allegations that many of them actually lacked proper authorization to work in America. I don’t think I’m being too cynical when I attribute the latter behavior to the ease with which someone like that can be exploited.
One of the other Trump statements that will reduce the number of returning veterans because it will result in more active duty personnel being killed and prolonging foreign conflicts is the taking the oil statement. This, like many other Trump actions and statements, only reinforces ISIS recruiting points and will enflame the denizens of the Middle East. That is simple human nature. Look at the American reaction to 9/11.
Trump has already come out with a federal government hiring freeze. One group that will be disproportionately hurt is veterans. Simply put, the federal government via the civil service examination program is one of the largest employers of veterans. Veterans literally get extra points on the competitive examinations in recognition of their military service.
Trump has a track record of exploiting veterans. In the first week of his administration he has proven he has no problem with putting them in even greater danger. He has also expressed a willingness to make it more difficult for them to get a job when they return to civilian life. Despite his rhetoric, Donald Trump is no friend of American veterans! Trump respects veterans about as much as he respects women – not much at all!
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