On Tuesday, August 2, during a Trump rally in Ashburn, Virginia, Donald Trump spoke about a veteran who gave his own Purple Heart medal to the GOP presidential candidate as a token of his support of Trump, as reported by CNN. Trump joked about always wanting a Purple Heart and invited the veteran, Lt. Colonel Louis Dorfman, on stage to thank him for the medal. Dorfman is a veteran who received the medal after being wounded while serving in Iraq in November of 2007. After thanking Dorfman, Trump then put the medal in his pocket. Trump is considered by some as a draft dodger during the Vietnam war because of student deferments and a medical deferment that kept him from being drafted.
Soon after news of Trump receiving the Purple Heart, Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democratic Representative who is running for Senate and also a Purple Heart recipient, tweeted a picture of herself in the hospital.
Duckworth wasn’t the only one to speak out about Trump receiving the Purple Heart — an article by the Huffington Post mentioned that Sean Barney, a Delaware Democrat who is running for Congress and also a recipient of the Purple Heart, posted a reply to Trump on his Facebook page. “As someone who fought for our country in Iraq, was injured, and was awarded a Purple Heart, I can tell you, no one should ever ‘want’ to get a Purple Heart,” said Barney.
Social media erupted, with many people upset that Trump kept the medal, especially after being unapologetic about comments he made about a fallen American Muslim soldier’s parents, Kzhir and Ghazala Khan. Captain Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq on June 8, 2004, when he took 10-15 steps and was killed by a suicide car bomb. Captain Khan had ordered his unit away from the vehicle before going forward, saving the entire unit. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.
Captain Khan’s father spoke at the DNC last Thursday night, denouncing Trump and saying that Trump never sacrificed anything or anyone. Trump fired back on Twitter, saying he had made lots of sacrifices and also made fun of Mrs. Khan because she didn’t speak at the DNC. He said it was probably because she was Muslim and her husband wouldn’t let her speak. She replied in an op-ed in the Washington Post that she didn’t speak because she was in pain, and also denounced Trump. Trump never apologized for his comments, saying he was justified because Khan didn’t know him.
Khizr Khan again responded to Trump on CNN last night, accusing him of dodging the Vietnam War draft and that he should not have accepted the Purple Heart that was given to him at the rally. Khan, directing his words to Trump on air, said that it was the latest sign of his inability to empathize with parents of fallen soldiers. “Donald Trump — you had the time. You did not serve,” said Khan. “You should have pinned that back to that veteran’s chest and should have hugged him and thanked him.”
Khan apologized for yelling but that he was so upset by Trump’s lack of empathy and common sense. He said that if Trump had been sensible, he would have known what it takes to earn a Purple Heart. Khan told CNN that he did not need an apology from Trump but would rather see him show empathy. While Khan said he was growing tired of “pressing his case” against Trump, he declared that he would continue to remind Trump what his behavior has been during the past year.
“I am not going to continue to appear on television. It is very disturbing. Because it is emotionally disturbing, it is family-wise disturbing. But I wanted to say this today.”
Do you think Khizr Khan is right for telling Donald Trump to return the Purple Heart? Please share your thoughts below.
[Photo by Evan Vucci/AP Images]