• Frederick Trump (1869-1918) m. 1902; Age (1898) 29
  • Fred Trump (1905-1999) m. 1936 c 1937, 1938; Age (1940) 35
  • Donald Trump (6/14/1046-present) m. 1977; Age (1964) 18
  • Military Service: Frederick (None), Fred (None), Donald (None)
We have just celebrated Memorial Day for 2016, so military service to our country is freshly relevant.* In honoring America’s war dead on Memorial Day, we also honor the service of recent veterans and our family members who served to ensure freedom and liberty for all of us. Sort of a family investment in America. Trump has continued to make support for veteran’s a prime topic in the political debate.
Grandfather Frederick, though an immigrant from Germany, was an American citizen in 1898. There was no draft imposed for the Spanish American War, but we have some guidance from the Civil War draft and World War I draft standards to judge his eligibility for service, if not a strict obligation. In 1898 he was 29 years old, single, unmarried, with no dependents, not engaged in any critical war related occupation, and with no religious objections. Thus, he was a prime candidate for service, or induction had there been a draft.
In the spring of 1898 he moved to Canada (until 1901), when he returned briefly to Germany and married in 1902, and then returned to NY. When he attempted to return to Germany on a permanent basis again in 1904, he was expelled from the country because of an official finding that he had evaded his military service obligation (active to age 35) when he originally left the country in 1885. He did not serve in the military in either country. He had no legal military service obligation in the US, but was found to be in violation of his mandatory German 3-year military service duty.
Father Fred was born in 1905. At the time of World War II and the imposition of a draft in 1940, at age 35 he was married and had 2 small children. He was subject to the draft. He was not engaged in any occupation subject to service exemption, such as war related production, public health and safety jobs, or agricultural employment. In truth, even with the expansive induction criteria in 1942, he still would have been lower on the priority list of men to be drafted because of his marriage and 3 dependent children. By 1943 he would have aged out of the high risk draft pool. He was subject to the draft in World War II, but was never called to serve.
In 1964 Donald turned 18 and had to register. He was unmarried, with no dependents, and not engaged in any employment which carried occupational exemptions (war related work, health and safety occupations, farm work). He was prime draft material during the years from 1964-1972. He had typical college student deferments from 1964-1968, but they expired on graduation. He was then classified as 1-A, then 1-Y, and finally 4-F. His high lottery number (.350) was for 1970. So, from June1968 until January 1970 (18 months) he was at high risk to be drafted. He obtained a medical deferment (1-Y) for a minor condition (except in wartime), which was later converted to a permanently disqualifying illness in 1971.
There is another special feature in Donald’s draft history. He graduated high school from the New York Military Academy in 1964, and while a cadet there was an officer in an official established junior R.O.T.C. command. As such, he would have received special considerations had he volunteered for military service (choice of military specialty, officer training school). He declined to take advantage.
For three generations, Trump’s paternal line has not offered or performed any military service for America, voluntary or through the draft. His father and grandfather played by the rules in America, but Donald bent them to advantage.
The Trump men were all eligible for military service to America. Millions of their fellow Americans volunteered or were drafted into service for their country during wartime. The Trumps all chose not to contribute in the most personal way one can to defend America’s freedom of speech, and to preserve the bounties of our economic and political system. They didn’t think the discounted value of their American citizenship, and the bounties our country provides, were worth enough to merit Trump military service.
What they did is not illegal, but it is not admirable or generous. Not even once in 100 years (1885-1980). Through five major military conflicts: Spanish American, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and Viet Nam (which were contested for 30 years of that time period).
Why does this family history (or, rather lack thereof) matter? Because it means that Trump has no personal experience to learn from and appreciate military sacrifice, and no authentic family history stories to share with the tens of millions of family members of proud Veterans, living and dead who served their country honorably in times of war during the past century.

What Trump Doesn’t Have for Veterans: A Short Catalogue

No personal experience and no family history to share.
Trump doesn’t know about the Veterans Administration National Cemeteries and the millions of Veterans, who served honorably, buried there (nearly 4 million).
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration maintains 134 national cemeteries in 40 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldier’s lots and monument sites. NCA maintains approximately 3.4 million gravesites.
Field of Markers Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day
Arlington National Cemetery Rows of Markers Memorial Day Remembrance
Trump doesn’t know about the Beverly National Cemetery in New Jersey (1864).
Beverly National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in the city of Beverly, in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. Administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, it encompasses 64.6 acres (26.1 ha), and as of the end of 2008, had over 49,000 interments.
This is where my grandfather (Spanish American War Veteran) and my grandmother are buried among 49,000 others (2008).
Riverside National Cemetery View of Grounds
Trump doesn’t know about the Riverside National Cemetery in California (1976).
RNC was established in 1976 through the transfer of 740 acres (300 ha) from March Air Force Base, a section that during World War II was called Camp Haan. The site was selected in 1976 to provide full burial options for Southern California veterans and their families by President Ford’s Commission for National Cemeteries and Monuments. An additional 181 acres (73 ha) was transferred by the U.S. Air Force in 2003.
Military funeral honors are provided for eligible veterans by military honor guards from each branch of service, by the California National Guard, and by several volunteer teams collectively known as the Memorial Honor Detail or MHD upon request of family members through their funeral home.
My father and 228,000 other souls lie buried here. Those interred include Medal of Honor recipients and seven Tuskegee Airmen. My father received military honors at his burial, with an honor guard, three-volley salute, a bugler, and a U.S. burial flag presented to the family. even though he served as an ordinary soldier (World War II, 1940-1946) and airman (Korea, 1952-1954), with no extraordinary rank or achievement.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns
Trump doesn’t know about Arlington National Cemetery where 400,000 are buried.
“United States national cemetery” is a designation for 147 [sic] nationally important cemeteries in the United States. A national cemetery is generally a military cemetery containing the graves of U.S. military personnel, veterans and their spouses, but not exclusively so. There are also state veteran cemeteries.
The best known national cemetery is Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C.
Some national cemeteries, especially Arlington, contain the graves of important civilian leaders and other important national figures. Some national cemeteries also contain sections for Confederate soldiers.
The National Cemetery Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs maintains 131 of the 147 [sic] national cemeteries.** The Department of the Army maintains two national cemeteries, Arlington National Cemetery and United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery. The National Park Service (NPS) maintains 14 cemeteries associated with historic sites and battlefields.
The American Battle Monuments Commission, an independent agency, maintains 24 American military cemeteries and other memorials outside of the United States.
The first national cemeteries were set up after the United States Civil War by Edmund Burke Whitman. Congress passed a law to establish and protect national cemeteries in 1867.
Trump doesn’t know about the Veterans Administration Hospitals and Clinics where millions of Veterans receive care for service-related and other medical conditions. There were 9.1 million Veterans enrolled in VA health care and 5.99 million used the medical and other services in 2014. A total of 21.6 million Veterans are eligible to enroll. Trump doesn’t know that in 2014 there were 92.4 million outpatient VA visits, and 707 thousand hospital admissions among enrolled Veterans.
Trump doesn’t know about VA-funded long-term care facilities and community nursing homes where elderly and disabled Veterans are cared for, with reduced or no financial cost, when they can no longer care for themselves.
Trump doesn’t know about the G.I. bill benefits which have put million through college:
The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944—commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights
Before the war, college and homeownership were, for the most part, unreachable dreams for the average American. Thanks to the GI Bill, millions who would have flooded the job market instead opted for education. In the peak year of 1947, Veterans accounted for 49 percent of college admissions. By the time the original GI Bill ended on July 25, 1956, 7.8million of 16 million World War II Veterans had participated in an education or training program.
My father was among them. The G.I. bill paid for him to attend college at U.S.C. after he was honorably discharged in 1946.
Trump doesn’t know about the VA loan program that helps millions of Vets afford to buy a house with a low down payment.
Millions also took advantage of the GI Bill’s home loan guaranty. From 1944 to 1952, VA backed nearly 2.4 million home loans for World War II Veterans.
From President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Statement on Signing the G.I. Bill, June 22, 1944:
This bill, which I have signed today, substantially carries out most of the recommendations made by me in a speech on July 28, 1943, and more specifically in messages to the Congress dated October 27, 1943, and November 23, 1943:
It gives servicemen and women the opportunity of resuming their education or technical training after discharge, or of taking a refresher or retrainer course, not only without tuition charge up to $500 per school year, but with the right to receive a monthly living allowance while pursuing their studies.
It makes provision for the guarantee by the Federal Government of not to exceed 50 percent of certain loans made to veterans for the purchase or construction of homes, farms, and business properties.
Trump doesn’t know about Veterans pensions which ease the financial burdens of retirement in some circumstances.
Pension benefits are needs-based and your “countable” family income must fall below the yearly limit set by law. Veterans must have at least 90 days of active duty, including one day during a wartime period. If the active duty occurred after September 7, 1980, you must have served at least 24 months or the full period that you were called up (with some exceptions). You must also be:
Age 65 or older with limited or no income, OR
Totally and permanently disabled, OR
A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR
Receiving Supplemental Security Income
My father and grandfather were both eligible and received small Veterans pensions, after retirement based on their wartime military service.
Trump doesn’t know about Veterans burial benefits which offer succor to bereaved families.
For Burial in a National Cemetery
Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 134 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Trump doesn’t know about the Veterans hiring preference that gives Veterans a boost when competing for government jobs, as a small reward for their honorable service.
Trump doesn’t know about the American Legion and its 2.3 million members (2013).
Eligibility for American Legion membership is limited to those honorably discharged veterans and current personnel of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force who served at least one day of active duty during any of the following periods:
  • World War I (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918) were also eligible; the last such member of that group died in 2011.
  • World War II: December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946 (except that for the U.S. Merchant Marine eligibility dates are December 7, 1941 to August 16, 1945)
  • Korean War: June 25, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War: February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975
  • Lebanon and Grenada: August 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984
  • Panama: December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
  • Persian Gulf War and Global War on Terrorism: August 2, 1990 to present
Membership peaked for the Legion right after World War II, when enrollments doubled from 1.7 million to 3.3 million. After the Korean War, there were 2.5 million Legionnaires. As baby boomers joined, membership increased to 3.1 million in 1992. However, membership has slowly been decreasing since then. In 2013, the Legion reported 2.3 million members.

At the state level, the American Legion is organized into “departments”, which run annual civic training events for high school juniors called Boys State. Two members from each Boys State are selected for Boys Nation. The American Legion Auxiliary runs Girls State and Girls Nation. In addition to Boys State, the American Legion features numerous programs including American Legion Baseball, Scouting, Oratorical Contests, Junior Shooting Sports, Youth Alumni, Sons of the American Legion, American Legion Riders, and Scholarships at every level of the organization.
Ten presidents from Truman to Bush II were (are) members of the American Legion. So were, General MacArthur, General Patton, Sergeant Alvin York, and actors Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. Trump can’t join them; he has no active military service.
Trump doesn’t know about the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and its 1.3 million members.
The objects of the VFW are to: Speed rehabilitation of the nation’s disabled and needy veterans, assist veterans’ widows and orphans and the dependents of needy or disabled veterans, and promote Americanism by means of education in patriotism and by constructive service to local communities. The organization maintains both its legislative service and central office of its national rehabilitation service in Washington. The latter nationwide program serves disabled veterans of all wars, members and nonmembers alike, in matters of government compensation and pension claims, hospitalization, civil-service employment preference, and etc.”
Membership in the VFW is restricted to any active or honorably discharged officer or enlisted person who is a citizen of the United States and who has served in its armed forces “in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition, which service shall be recognized by the authorization or the issuance of a military campaign medal”.
Trump doesn’t know about the American Veterans (AMVETS) and their 200,000 members (2014).
The American Veterans, Inc. (AMVETS) is a volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans of the United States. It advocates for its members as well as for causes that it deems helpful to the nation at large. The group holds a Federal charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. It is a 501(c)19 organization.
AMVETS is active in U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying for the interests of veterans, including support for veteran’s benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system; in addition, it has promoted other causes such as support for a Flag Burning Amendment.
The AMVETS Silver Helmet Award is an annual award to “recognize excellence and achievement in Americanism, defense, rehabilitation, congressional service and other fields.” Sometimes called the “Veterans Oscar,” the award is shaped like a small, silver replica of a World War II helmet. Recipients have included Edmund Muskie, Lyndon B. Johnson, Lee Greenwood, and Jack Quinn.
Trump has no personal experience and no family history to contribute to the shared sacrifice of these veterans organizations and their families. He is not eligible to join with their 4 million military Veteran members.
What Trump doesn’t know about or have any personal knowledge or experience to inform his views about Veterans issues, their impact on families, and the multiplied social consequences would fill a very thick book indeed.

Trump and 9/11

Trump has extolled the contributions of the first responders (firemen, police, EMTs, paramedics) and recovery workers in New York during the 9?11 tragedy that marked the start of America’s Irregular War on Terror, in numerous TV appearances and debates. What about his personal contribution to this effort?
His first visit to the World Trade Center ruins took place two days later to stand four blocks away, with the disaster wreckage in the background, for a television interview with a German language reporter (Trump was interpreted in German to the audience, since he doesn’t speak the language). Trump was not there as someone who had experienced the events personally, nor as an elected official, nor as any sort of a public spokesman, nor on behalf of any victims. He spoke for himself and the publicity.
When the site was cleared and a national memorial (The National September 11 Memorial & Museum) was designed and built from 2006-2011, Trump did not contribute money, or staffing, or supplies, or serve on the board, or as a fund raiser for wealthy business owners.
After the museum opened in 2011 he did not participate in the ceremonies, or visit the memorial a single time during the next five years. He did not donate money for the operating costs, like Mike Bloomberg his fellow New York billionaire who gave $15 million dollars to the cause. Not even at the paltry (for him) $10,000 level. Check it out.
After Trump decided to run for President in June 2015, he determined to make a pilgrimage some day. On Saturday April 9, 2016 he made an unscheduled 30-minute visit to the museum with his wife, reporters and cameras trailing, and did not take questions. He announced publicly that he was giving a check for $100,000 to the museum, as a token of his generous interest and support.
So he ignored the memorial and museum effort for 15 years, did not support the building fund (though he was asked to contribute often), didn’t visit for 4 1/2 years after it opened, and then 1 week before the N.Y Republican primary, made a very public display with an ostentatious check. A typical Trump flourish, the miserly billionaire flashing a small part of his wad of riches for the plebes. He gave a total of 1/100,000th of his wealth with full public notice to mark his respect and his magnanimity. The optics are stunning.
There is no record of Trump’s support for the long-term survivors of the rescue and recovery efforts. No charity golf events, no complimentary hotel stays, no Trump hats, no medical expenses donations, or research funding.

Trump and The Veterans Fundraiser: January 2016

In January, as the primary campaign was heating up, Trump decided to duck the second Fox News moderated debate on very short notice, because that woman with her wherever was scheduled to be there. To fill the dead time, Trump organized a counter programming event in Dubuque, Iowa billed as a Veteran’s Charity fundraiser, to compete head to head with the Fox debate.
short chronology follows:
Way back in January, Donald Trump got himself a ton of prime publicity on the backs of veterans. He organized a benefit that he said was for them. But really he did it because he didn’t feel like debating other GOP presidential candidates that night.
At the event, he boasted that he’d raised $6 million, including $1 million that would come from his own pocket. Not too shabby, as he would say. But when reporters asked him later where the money went, including whether Donald had, indeed, donated $1 million, he told them he didn’t have to account for the funds.
At the fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 28, Trump announced to the crowd, “We just cracked $6 million! Right? $6 million.” That included his gift. He told the gathering, “I don’t want to be called a politician. All talk, no action – I refuse to be called a politician. Donald Trump gave $1 million. Okay?” That made it sound like he’d already written the check.
But he hadn’t.
In May, Trump told a Washington Post reporter asking for an accounting of the money, “Why should I give you records? I don’t have to give you records.”
In May, Trump told a Washington Post reporter asking for an accounting of the money, “Why should I give you records? I don’t have to give you records.”
That was followed by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski lying about it, telling the Washington Post that Trump had ponied up his share.
“The money is fully spent. Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent,” Lewandowski told the Post on May 21. Though, Lewandowski added, only $4.5 million, not the promised $6 million, was raised.
Ok, fine. But where did all that money go, the Post wanted to know. Lewandowski said that was nobody’s business.
“He’s not going to share that information,” the campaign manager said.
Unable to find veterans groups that received the money, the Post took to Twitter to seek them out. The question, basically, was: Did any veteran, anywhere get a dime from that fundraiser that Donald used to envelop himself in all that big, beautiful publicity?
Twitterazzi Trump took that goad. That very evening, four months after the fundraiser, he called a veterans group that had given him an award and promised them his $1 million. The Trump check is dated the next day, May 24, when he held a press conference to attack reporters who had tried to hold the candidate accountable for distributing to veterans the money he promised them.
Trump contradicted his own campaign manager who said $4.5 million was raised, contending it was $5.6 million. And he contended that he never promised $6 million.
“I didn’t say six,” he asserted, despite video evidence in which he clearly says $6 million.
Whatever his aspirations or intentions, Trump lost the ratings war to Fox News and their Trumpless debate (12.5 million to 2.7 million), but garnered substantial free coverage everywhere else for several days as he proudly proclaimed before the cameras he had raised $6 million dollars, including $1 million of his own personal funds. He has continued to tout his fervent and generous support of Veteran’s as a campaign theme since.
There was some initial confusion about the funds raised and their dispersal. The fundraiser website, hastily assembled, directed all public donations to the Trump Foundation, not to any recognized Veterans groups. The Washington Post, in particular, continued to try and follow-up on the receipt and dispersal of funds in March and April with vague and incomplete responses from the campaign.
Finally in mid-May, campaign manager Cory Lewandowski tried to quell the controversy by stating that it wasn’t $6 million, but $4.5 million, and some donors were late sending in their money, though not Mr. Trump. Trump decided to angrily contradict his spokesman and declare all the funds had already been received and disbursed, and that he never actually promised $6 million. Faced with clear video evidence to the contrary, he didn’t remember saying it.
The Washington Post persisted in their inquiries, and published a story on May 21 that only 3.1 million could be accounted for by the veterans groups the campaign had listed. A Twitter inquiry by The Washington Post followed on May 23. The same day in a late night phone call, Trump gave $1 million to a single Veterans group (Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation), finally making good on his overdue pledge of 4 months earlier. In other words, he was shamed in meeting his voluntary obligation after a high wattage mega -spotlight was turned on his conduct.
On the Tuesday after Veterans Day, Trump held another press conference to provide the final accounting of disbursed funds, which totaled $5.5 million, not more than $6 million. None of the reported facts were shown to be inaccurate or mistaken. Trump used the occasion of the press conference to whine that rather than offer effusive praise for his exceptional generosity, instead the Press quibbled in an unseemly way about delays and misstatements and asked very nasty, unfair questions.
Trump made a unsought, voluntary commitment nobody had asked him for, and then dragged his feet for months keeping hold of the money. He and his campaign lied about the facts to cover up their malperformance, and then tried to assume the role of victim in a mess entirely of their own making.
This is not support for Veterans causes, this is self-aggrandizement in the extreme lane, and poor me to the bitter end.

Trump and Rolling Thunder Memorial Weekend 2016

Trump flew into to Washington on Memorial Day weekend to try and take over the Rolling Thunder Run that has been a non-partisan, charitable event for 29 years (28 sans Trump), and turn it into a political dog and pony show. He gave his standard political hack stump speech.
The Rolling Thunder event is organized to draw attention to veterans’ issues and dedicated to remembering prisoners of war and service members missing in action.
“We’re with you 100 percent,” Trump told the crowd.
Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee for president, angered veterans last year when he said he liked “people who weren’t captured” in wars. That had been a dig at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the party’s 2008 nominee, who had been captured and held for more than five years during the Vietnam War after his plane was shot down. Trump claimed that McCain was a “war hero because he was captured.”
Trump quickly tried to walk back the comment but has refused to apologize to McCain. Many veterans groups were furious, but since then Trump has worked to try to repair the damage. He frequently honors veterans at his rallies, and he has come out with a plan to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also held a fundraiser for veterans’ causes in place of an Iowa debate that he skipped.
Rolling Thunder spokeswoman Nancy Regg estimated Sunday’s event drew about 5,000 people — smaller than the crowds Trump typically attracts. The large plaza between the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall had large, empty pockets with no long lines for security, despite the thousands of bikers in town for the group’s ride from the Pentagon and through the streets of Washington.
Trump, who frequently boasts about his crowd size, however, claimed that 600,000 people were outside trying to get in.
“I thought this would be like Dr. Martin Luther King, where the people would be lined up from here all the way to the Washington monument, right? Unfortunately, they don’t allow ’em to come in,” Trump complained as he finished up his speech.
Trump appears to be suffering some sort of visual hallucination on this subject. He was so intent on headlining a mass event with the grandeur of MLK’s magnificent “I Have a Dream” speech of August 28, 1963, that Trump saw in his mind’s eye a vast crowd of 600,000 before him, when the Rally Organizer could find only 5,000.

D-Day June 6, 1944; The Normandy Landings

Today, June 6 marks the 72nd anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944), the start of the most significant battle in World War II, when 156,000 Allied forces landed on the beaches of France and began the final campaign to defeat Hitler and the Nazis in Europe. Thousands of Americans and other Allied troops died (4,414) on these beaches to preserve our freedoms. They offered their lives as a payment and sacrifice for all of us.
Trump’s 70th birthday is less than 10 days away. He carefully avoided his own opportunity to serve his country in the military, as did two generations of his family before him. He ignored the sacrifice of the 9/11 responders in any way but yapping on TV for 15 years. He broke his promise to Veterans about the money he raised for them in a poorly planned and executed TV stunt meant to distract viewers from his ducking out of a debate (because of the female moderator’s tough questions). He hijacked a real charitable event for Veterans on Memorial Day Sunday, just a week ago, in order to preach partisan political division.
Americans don’t need any more false support, camaraderie, and charity teases from a publicity black hole who walked away from his own service obligation and now tries to cover himself in the borrowed honor and genuine service of those who did their duty.
Veterans Day 2001 Poster
This is personal for Veterans. Leave them and their families and their descendants unto the third generation out of your cheap Trump theatrics. Stop insulting America’s K.I.As., M.I.A.s, and the P.O.W.s who have returned to us.*** Veterans who pay their fair share of taxes, honor their promises, and get along with their next-door neighbors peaceably, even when they don’t agree with them, deserve respite from Trump’s outrageous slurs on combat veterans, his racist diatribes, his religious bigotry, and his flimsy cardboard promises.
Let Trump stay indoors on June 6th, and leave commemoration of D-Day to those who appreciate what happened, understand the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers and sailors there, and what a precious gift they gave to all who live in America, every one of us, even Mexicans and Muslims and Unruly Womenfolk.
Go hijack a casino in Macau, you draft-avoiding, deceiving, hypocritical, gold spray painted poseur-in-chief.

Final Note On D-Day 2016

1943: Troops coming ashore during training exercises for the Allied D-Day invasion. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Leave it to Trump to bungle even a 140-character tweet for this day. While posting his personal congratulations to the fallen heroes of D-Day, he and his crackerjack staff of incompetent (no doubt non-Veteran) assistants, used a photo from 1943. Anyone who has read a book, or watched movies, or knows a little history would see this photo is very off. The Allies committed 156,000 air, sea and land forces against the beaches on June 6, 1944. They suffered more than 10,000 casualties. Was this picture, shot from ahead, of the four LCVPs****, filled with, oh gosh, a couple hundred troops standing straight up, advancing against no enemy fortifications, with no smoke and fire, and no wounded, dead or dying men littering the beach, perhaps taken during the morning coffee break while the Germans sat on their helmets and had tea and a snack?
Trump's D-Day Tweet Manifest Error
Trump’s Dumbo D-Day Tweet (2016) An Insult to Those Who Fought
Take a look at the drill sergeant (right foreground), hands on hips, facing away from the beach, towards the oncoming soldiers, who appears to be wearing a soft campaign cover as well. What a bunch of ignorant, unobservant sad sacks in Trump’s operation!
Who is Trump going to fire over this SNAFU mess?
Another example of why he should leave military stuff to serious people. On further reflection, maybe it is better Trump skated on his military service. It might well have posed a lethal danger to his fellow soldiers to let him fool around with a military grade weapon and live ammunition in combat.
Peace to you, Donald. Just go away and leave us be.


*The difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day:
Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Veterans Day 2004
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery . The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.
**Three new National Cemeteries have been established since 2010: Miramar (San Diego CA, 2012), Louisiana (Zachary LA, 2012), and Yellowstone (Laurel MT, 2014).
Riverside National Cemetery POW MIA Memorial
P.O.W. M.I.A. Memorial Riverside National Cemetery
***Trump cravenly and outrageously defamed a decorated combat pilot who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, was shot down in wartime over Viet Nam, survived 6 years of torture and imprisonment, refused an offer to return home before his comrades, has permanent physical impairments from his war wounds, later was elected by all the citizens of Arizona to the U.S. House (1982) and then the U.S. Senate (1986-present), ran as the Republican nominee for President in 2008, and comes from a family with three generations of full-time military service (his father and grandfather were both four star Admirals) in 2015. Not content with the inconsequential drivel of his attack on McCain, Trump had the bald effrontery to claim he had suffered through his own personal Viet Nam trying to avoid catching an STD, while he partied non-stop in Manhattan from 1968-1975, chasing women, and acting like a spoiled rich kid. Veterans should be ashamed to be ‘honored’ by such an amoral loser, and man of shockingly low character.
****Landing craft of all sorts played a critical role in the Allied victories in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. None more so than the LCVP on D-Day at Normandy.
Actual D-Day Landing in Higgins Boat June 6 1944
U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo: D-Day Landing (June 6,1944)
The Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) or Higgins Boat (as we prefer) was proudly designed and built in Louisiana (1941-1945) by Andrew Higgins. His company delivered 20,000 of these critical war vessels. They were made largely of plywood with a shallow draft and squared front, inspired by boats used in Louisiana’s swamps and marshlands, adapted for open water use. 36 feet long, they could hold a platoon of 36 men, and disembark its entire load of men and equipment on the beach and begin to return to the mother ship in 3-4 minutes.
No less an authority than the supreme Allied commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, declared the Higgins boat to have been crucial to the Allied victory on the European Western Front and the previous fighting in North Africa and Italy:
Andrew Higgins … is the man who won the war for us. … If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different.
Around here, we call that Cajun Engineering of the highest caliber. No gold plating, either.
The National WW II Museum is located in New Orleans. Why? Because of Andrew Higgins. In 2015 the Museum is undergoing a $300 million expansion. There are 500 thousand visitors each year. There is a fenuine Higgins LCVP on display. Y’all come down to visit, hear?
The National WWII Museum, formerly known as the D-Day Museum, is a military history museum located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, on Andrew Higgins Drive between Camp Street and Magazine Street. The museum focuses on the contribution made by the United States to Allied victory in World War II. Founded in 2000, it was later designated by the U.S. Congress as America’s official National World War II Museum in 2003. The Museum maintains an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution. The mission statement of the Museum emphasizes the American experience in World War II.
To finish on a lighter note, listen here to Bill Monroe’s (1911-1996) bluegrass classic “Y’all Come” (1954). The good old days, before Trump pollution. From the chorus:
Y’all come! (Y’all come!)
Y’all come! (Y’all come!)
Well, you all come to see us now and then
Y’all come! (Y’all come!)
Y’all come! (Y’all come!)
Well, you all come to see us when you can
Honor the Veterans Around You, Past and Present.