Memorial Day is way when celebrate those who lost their lives serving this country. Sadly, our racist president isn’t the most shining example. The 72-year-old famously avoided the draft for Vietnam five times, while countless young men — with disproportionately Black men being drafted — lost their lives fighting for his freedom.
Back in August of 2016, the New York Times looked into how Donald Trump bypassed the Vietnam War. According to The Times, the wealthy businessman appeared to be “the picture of health” in 1968 at age 22, when he graduated from college. Yet, the son of a rich New York businessman managed to obtain a medical waiver for bone spurs in his heels that enabled him to avoid enlisting in the military.
Trump’s Vietnam-era history went under a spotlight because of criticism from Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim-American soldier who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. Khan famously said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that Trump had never sacrificed for his country.
Trump attacked Khan and his wife Ghazala Khan for weeks following the DNC.
Mr. Trump had received four military draft deferments while he attended the undergraduate real estate program at the University of Pennsylvania. The Times said he was eager at that point in his life to join his father’s real estate development business. But one thing stood in his way: the possibility of getting drafted to join the bloody war in Vietnam.
With college in the rearview mirror, Trump’s bone spur diagnosis allowed him to pursue his dream. The diagnosis resulted in a 1-Y medical deferment from the draft, which had pulled about 300,000 men into the war in 1968.
The Times said Trump’s public statements have been at odds with the Selective Service records. In an interview with the newspaper, Trump could not remember the doctor’s name or provide a copy of the letter the doctor provided.
Moreover, he told The Times that the bone spurs were “temporary” and “minor.” The GOP standard-bearer couldn’t recall when the calcium build-up in his heel was no longer a problem. It went away “over a period of time,” without the need for surgery.
Ultimately, his one-year temporary deferment was changed to a 4-F, a permanent medical condition.
While many people avoided serving in Vietnam, Trump has been inconsistent about his reasons and has had the audacity to attack other people who served Vietnam — like the late John McCain.