Trump’s Record on Veterans : Truth Speaks Louder Than Lies

Trump’s Record on Veterans: Updates

It’s time to update Trump’s record on Veterans as new information has come to light. Back in September 2020, The Atlantic magazine news broke that then-Commander in Chief Trump called U.S. military who have been captured or killed, including referring to the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 as “losers” and “suckers.” Trump said that the story was “totally false.” It wasn’t.

Retired US Marine Corps general John Kelly, who served for 17 months as chief of staff for Donald Trump, said that the former president called veterans “suckers” because “there’s nothing in it from them,” confirming years of anonymous accounts detailing Trump’s comments about the military.

“What can I add that has not already been said?” Kelly told CNN, referring to Trump, “A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.'” That’s only the beginning of his record on Veterans.  It somehow goes down from here.

Kelly continued: “A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family — for all Gold Star families — on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.”

Up until Monday, Kelly did not comment on Trump’s alleged statements, which were first detailed by The Atlantic in 2020. Per the Atlantic’s reporting, the former president joined Kelly to visit his late son Robert Kelly’s grave in 2017 and asked “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

When you look at this well-documented history of the way Trump has used the military, Active Duty soldiers and Veterans for his own gain, you should either stop supporting him or stop saying you care about Veterans. Trump has weakened our military by going after the money and morale that our servicemembers and Veterans deserve. In the three years since he came into office, Trump’s record speaks for itself.

We continued to document the Trump record on Veterans with this post that gets us caught up to late 2020..

On the right is a cartoon from Phil Hands, Editorial Cartoonist and letters editor for the Wisconsin State Journal. Like many other military line items, funds for the Madison Traux base’s new shooting range were diverted. Theirs went to build the wall – of which only 3 miles have been built to date. So where is all that money going? One answer could be Trump’s now shutdown charity that took money from a Veteran’s fundraiser. Disturbingly disgraceful.

Trump's record on Veterans

Trump’s Record on Veterans Timeline

Credit to Reddit user /u/victorvitor1 for his research on the following post:

  • Children of deployed US troops will no longer get automatic American citizenship if born overseas during deployment. This includes US troops posted abroad for years at a time (August 28, 2019)

  • On August 2, 2019, Trump requisitioned military retirement funds towards border wall

  • On July 31, 2019, Trump ordered the Navy rescind medals to prosecutors who were prosecuting war criminals

  • In July 2019, Trump denied a United States Marine of 6 years entry into the United States for his scheduled citizenship interview (Reported July 17, 2019)

  • Trump made the U.S. Navy Blue Angels violate ethics rules by having them fly at his July 4th political campaign (July 4, 2019)

  • Trump demanded US military chiefs stand next to him at 4th of July parade (reported July 2, 2019)

  • In June, 2019, Trump sent troops to the border to paint the fence for a better “aesthetic appearance” (June 7, 2019)

  • Trump used his D-Day interview at a cemetery commemorating fallen US soldiers to attack a Vietnam veteran (June 6, 2019)

  • Trump started his D-Day commemoration speech by attacking a private citizen (Bette Midler, of all people) (reported on June 4th, 2019)

  • Trump made his 2nd wife, Marla Maples, sign a prenup that would have cut off all child support if Tiffany joined the military (reported on June 4th, 2019)

  • On May 27, 2019, Trump turned away US military from his Memorial Day speech because they were from the destroyer USS John S. McCain

  • Trump ordered the USS John McCain out of sight during his visit to Japan (May 15, 2019). The ship’s name was subsequently covered. (May 27, 2019)

  • Trump pardoned war criminals (May, 2019)

  • Trump purged 200,000 veterans healthcare applications (due to known administrative errors within VA’s enrollment process and enrollment system) (reported on May 13, 2019)

  • Trump deported a spouse of fallen Army soldier killed in Afghanistan, leaving their daughter parentless (April 16, 2019)

  • On March 20, 2019, Trump complained that a deceased war hero didn’t thank him for his funeral

  • He diverted military housing funds to pay for border wall (Feb 15, 2019). A judge subsequently denied this. In July 2019, SCOTUS ruled that Trump could in fact divert military housing funds to pay for his wall.

  • He refused to sign his party’s funding bill, which shut down the government, and forced a branch of the military to go without pay. This branch of military was forced to work without pay, otherwise they would be AWOL. However, his appointees got a $10,000 pay raise (Dec 22, 2018 – Jan 25, 2019)

  • He didn’t pay the Coast Guard, forcing service members to rely on food pantries (Jan 23, 2019)

  • He banned service members from serving based on gender identity (Jan 22, 2019)

  • He denied female troops access to birth control to limit sexual activity (on-going. Published Jan 18, 2019)

  • He tried to deport a marine vet who is a U.S.-born citizen (Jan 16, 2019)

  • When a man was caught swindling veterans pensions for high-interest “cash advances,” Trump’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined him $1. As a reminder, the Trump administration’s goal was to dismantle the CFPB, installing Mick Mulvaney as the director, who publicly stated the bureau should be disbanded. (Jan 26, 2019)

  • He called a retired general a ‘dog’ with a ‘big, dumb mouth’ (Jan 1, 2019)

  • He increased privatization of the VA, leading to longer waits and higher taxpayer cost (2018)

  • He finally visited troops 2 years after taking office, but only after 154 vacation days at his properties (Dec 26, 2018)

  • He revealed a covert Seal Team 5 deployment, including names and faces, on Twitter during his visit to Iraq (Dec 26, 2018)

  • Trump lied to deployed troops that he gave them a 10% raise. He didn’t give them a 10% raise (Dec 26, 2018). He initially tried to give the military a raise that was lower than the standard living adjustment. This was before Congress told him that idea wasn’t going to work. Then after giving them the raise that Congress made him, he lied about it pretending that it was larger than Obama’s. It wasn’t.

  • He fired service members living with HIV just before the 2018 holidays (Dec 19, 2018-present)

  • He tried to slash disability and unemployment benefits for Veterans to $0, and eliminate the unemployability extrascheduler rating (Dec 17, 2018)

  • He got three Mar-a-Lago guests to run the VA (unknown start – present, made well-known in 2018)

  • He called troops on Thanksgiving and told them he’s most thankful for himself (Thanksgiving, 2018)

  • He urged Florida to not count deployed military votes (Nov 12, 2018)

  • He canceled an Arlington Cemetery visit on Veterans Day due to light rain (Nov 12, 2018)

  • While in Europe commemorating the end of WWI, he didn’t attend the ceremony at a US cemetery due to the rain – but other world leaders went anyway (Nov 10, 2018)

  • He used troops as a political prop by sending them on a phantom mission to the border and maked them miss Thanksgiving with their families (Oct-Dec, 2018)

  • He stopped using troops as a political prop immediately after the election. However, the troops remained in muddy camps on the border (Nov 7, 2018)

  • Trump changed the GI Bill through his Forever GI Act, causing the VA to miss veteran benefits, including housing allowances. This caused many veterans to run out of food and rent. “You can count on us to serve, but we can’t count on the VA to make a deadline,” one veteran said. (reported October 7, 2018)

  • Trump doubled the rejection rate for veterans requesting family deportation protections (July 5, 2018)

  • Trump deported active-duty spouses (11,800 military families face this problem as of April 2018)

  • He forgot a fallen soldier’s name (below) during a call to his pregnant widow, then attacked her the next day (Oct 23-24, 2017)

  • He sent commandos into an ambush due to a lack of intel, and sends contractors to pick them up, resulting in a commando being left behind, tortured, and executed. (Trump approved the mission because Bannon told him Obama didn’t have the guts to do it) (Oct 4, 2017)

  • He blocked a veteran group on Twitter (June 2017)

  • He ordered the discharge of active-duty immigrant troops with good records (2017-present)

  • He deported veterans (2017-present)

  • He said he knows more about ISIS than American generals (Oct 2016)

  • He said vets get PTSD because they aren’t strong (Oct 3, 2016) (note: yes, he said it’s ‘because they aren’t strong.’ He didn’t say it’s ‘because they’re weak.’ This distinction is important because of Snopes)

  • Trump accepted a Purple Heart from a fan at one of his rallies and said: “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” (Aug 2, 2016)

  • Trump attacks Gold Star families – Myeshia Johnson–gold star widow, Khan family–gold star parents, etc. (2016-present)

  • Trump sent funds raised from a January 2016 veterans benefit to the Donald J Trump Foundation instead of veterans charities (the foundation has since been ordered shut because of fraud) (Jan, 2016)

  • Trump said “I felt that I was in the military in the true sense because I dealt with those people” because he went to a military-style academy and that he has “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military”. (2015 biography)

  • Trump said he doesn’t consider POWs heroes because they were caught. He said he prefers people who were not caught (July 18, 2015)

  • Trump said having unprotected sex was his own personal Vietnam (1998)

  • For a decade, Trump sought to kick veterans off of Fifth Avenue because he found them unsightly nuisances outside of Trump Tower. “While disabled veterans should be given every opportunity to earn a living, is it fair to do so to the detriment of the city as a whole or its tax paying citizens and businesses?” – 1991

  • Trump dodged the draft 5 times by having a doctor diagnose him with bone spurs.

  • No Trump in America has ever served in the military; this spans 5 generations, and every branch of the family tree. In fact, the reason his grandfather immigrated to America was to avoid military service

Military Deaths and PTSD

A traumtic incident can occur out of nowhere. Driving to the store for a coffee can end up with a tragic accident. PTSD can come with it. Family members can and do find their dead veterans. Imagine walking into the bathroom and seeing that. Of course it’s hard for anyone to forget and move on. We know that every member of our families deal with PTSD-related issues every minute of every day.

From the beginning of modern day warfare, PTSD packed along in every American war. Using different names such as “shell shock”, PTSD was only recognized as a distinct disorder in the 1980’s. In earlier wars such as World War II, 37% of soldiers who saw direct combat were discharged for psychiatric reasons and 24% of soldiers who saw direct combat in the Korean War were discharged for psychiatric reasons. That’s 1 out of 4 men, and for us, that’s 25% of their families, too. Veteran families of soldier suicide pay that same price.