Any veteran who served in a combat zone deserves the utmost respect. Their devotion and service to this country should never be attacked.
Those who never served have the right to criticize because of veterans who fought to preserve that right, which exists because many paid the ultimate price in defense of this country.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, unfortunately, is one of those people who chose to criticize a distinguished veteran.
The loud-mouth New Yorker recently made some very hurtful comments about U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who volunteered for the Vietnam War. McCain was a Navy fighter pilot and was shot down in October 1967, fracturing both arms and a leg ejecting from the aircraft.
He spent nearly the next six years in the notorious Hanoi Hilton, where he was regularly tortured.
At a forum Saturday in Iowa, Trump said McCain isn’t a war hero, and the only reason he would be is because he was captured. Trump said he likes people who weren’t captured.
We would say to Trump that in hindsight, McCain probably didn’t want to be captured either, especially by the North Vietnamese, who were known for not following the rules of the Geneva Convention. But he was captured and went through a type of hell that not many of us can imagine.
For Trump to make these statements about a man who volunteered to fight in a war, was tortured and refused an early release from the Hanoi Hilton because of his father’s high-ranking status in the Navy, a four-star admiral, is simply beyond the pale.
To McCain’s credit, he took the high road, and in immense pain and not knowing when he would be tortured next, he stayed with his fellow comrades to see that all of them got out of that prison alive. His captors may have broken McCain’s bones, but they didn’t break his spirit.
McCain embodies the word “hero.”
Trump avoided service in Vietnam through student and medical deferments for a bone spur in one of his feet. He said recently he wasn’t a fan of the war but that he would have gone and fought if he could.
Trump, there were a lot of people who weren’t particularly fond of the Vietnam War, but many of those put their feelings aside and went to Vietnam and fought admirably. Some of them who perhaps didn’t agree with the war, but went anyway and paid the ultimate price for it.
The Daily News, Bowling Green