Dear Donald Trump,
I firmly stand by the opinion that political affairs and the military should be distinctly separated. However, over the past few weeks, a critical line was crossed. Not only was the line between politics and the Nation’s defense forces crossed but also the one between personal ideology and human decency.
Your words that you have always wanted to earn the Purple Heart through ‘the easy way’ cannot be taken lightly. Mr. Donald Trump, I should not try to advise you how to run this campaign, but I should nonetheless mention this to you as someone who has met you before. Then, you seemed much more genuine and caring. I am in limbo which version is your true self.
I am a post-U.S Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient. My aspirations while joining the military were that I would serve the military with courage and at some point receive some accolades for my services to our nation.
In April 2003, while in Iraq, I run over a bomb on the roadside. All the other passengers in the Humvee I was driving were safely ejected from the wreck. I remained trapped inside for over five minutes. At this point, I should mention that the Purple Heart is an accolade I wish I never got. But I still got one, and not the easy way.
I came back home with burns over my body. I have since had over 30 surgeries in an attempt to fix the skin and tissue expanders. While I came back home a Purple Heart recipient, my mother knew in her heart that soon, a new designation would be awarded to her; a gold star.
To this moment, you have done enough actions that would well disqualify you to be the commander in chief of this nation. You seem to have denigrated a war prisoner, belittled a general who to this point has devoted his life to the service of this country, and disrespected the grief of gold star families.
I barely understand your attempts to show no respect to the memory of Hunayun Khan, the Army captain. Your repeated alterations link him and his relatives to radical Islamic terrorism. In your speeches, you bring up his name in the same sentences as the radicalized Islams.
Your actions express divergent views from your words as you claim to support the military. Your reaction to his family’s emotional reaction proves two things:
• You do not pick up your battles well enough. This is an important lesson in the military
• You are poor in global politics
A better response to the Khan family would simply to acknowledge their sacrifice. However, you chose a different technique. You opted to stay relevant in the news by giving spiteful statements to a family that should be off limits. Should we trust our military in the mercies of a leader who does not trust the comfort of a soldier’s parents? Younger children do have a better level of empathy around this matter.
It is equally worrying that other citizens have become accustomed to your tactics. Some even state that they are no longer astonished by what alterations are expressed during your campaigns. My hope for this nation is that your actions and words do not erode our civil responsibilities. I pray that more people continue to be shocked by your words.
Please also remember that the brave soldiers of the armed forces will fight for you regardless of their political affiliation and opinions. As you talk about their families, be sure not to carry out your personal attacks and express petty grievances.