Trump insulted the work of America’s armed forces who put themselves in harm’s way every day as unwilling to "fight to win." The smear was the latest in a series of policies and comments from him attacking the military and undermining morale.
Trump’s comments came on Monday morning as he discussed his upcoming budget, which seeks to increase defense spending by a reported $54 billion, while cutting domestic programs and spending (as his congressional allies work to rip health care from millions).
TRUMP: We have to start winning wars again. I have to say, when I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say "we never lost a war." We never lost a war, you remember, some of you were right there with me and you remember we never lost a war. America never lost. And now, we never win a war. We never win. And we don't fight to win. We don't fight to win.
In response to Trump, Jon Soltz, Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org told Shareblue:
"How insulting that Donald Trump sees war as some kind of game, where you keep score and take home trophies. That's what you get from a guy who went to a fake military-themed school, and got out of Vietnam with a fake foot issue. How absolutely insulting to the men and women who have given their lives to America. War is not a game and it isn’t a reality show. A commander in chief should realize that."
Many of the troops who are currently deployed overseas will hear their Commander-in-Chief denigrate their sacrifice and hard work. Soldiers, seamen and others under fire in hot zones like Afghanistan are having their duty belittled by someone who when called to serve, used his family’s status and dubious health claims about “bone spurs” to avoid service.
He did once “joke” that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases was comparable to serving in the Vietnam War.
Trump spent a considerable amount of time during the presidential campaign attacking the family of fallen soldier Humayun Khan, behavior that upset William Owens, father of Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens who was killed in the botched mission in Yemen that Trump hastily ordered. Owens has recently spoken up and said that he did not want to meet with Trump, and that he wants an independent investigation into how the decision was made to order the mission.
Domestically, Trump has also begun hurting the military. His ill-advised mandate of a hiring freeze has resulted in child care programs for military families being shuttered, while also dropping protections in place for the undocumented families of military members.
Members of the military now see a Commander-in-Chief working against them and their families while denigrating their work and sacrifice on the world stage.