Heroic Army Veteran To Trump: Stop ‘Disrespecting’ The Troops (Letter)

Donald ‘Jack*ss’ Trump’s continuous assaults and offenses towards our fighting men and women has been dominating the headlines, as well as bringing his suicidal campaign to a screeching halt, and one gallant soldier and recipient of the Purple Heart, who was left scarred and burned following combat in Iraq, is none too thrilled.

J.R. Martinez , an Army infantryman who sustained severe burns to over 34 percent of his body while serving in Iraq, recently penned an open letter following Trump’s Purple Heart comments. Here were Trump’s ridiculously stupid comments regarding being handed a purple heart from a colonel at an event:

Man, that’s like big stuff. I always wanted to get the Purple Heart, Trump said. This was much easier.

Martinez, who has since recovered and traveled around the country speaking about his experiences to veterans groups and schools, fired back with this open letter to Trump:

Dear Donald Trump,

I’m a firm believer that politics should be kept out of our military and that our military should be kept out of politics. However, over the last week, a line was crossed not just between politics and our military but between personal ideology and human decency. 

You recently told a crowd of your supporters, upon receiving a replica Purple Heart, that you’d, “always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”

Mr. Trump, I’m not a campaign manager. I can’t tell you how to run this race. But I say this as someone who knows you. I’ve met you before and you seemed as though you genuinely cared about my service and sacrifice. I wonder which version is the real you. 

I am a proud post-9/11 U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient. When I first joined the military, like many other service members, I had dreams of serving valiantly and one day receiving many military accolades in service of our great nation. 

In April 2003, the humvee I was driving outside of Karbala, Iraq, ran over a roadside bomb. The passengers were immediately ejected as a result of the blast, but I was trapped inside the burning vehicle for five minutes. I can tell you without equivocation that the one award I did not want to receive was a Purple Heart, but I got one anyway. And I’ll tell you now, I didn’t get mine the easy way. 

I came home to my mother with third-degree burns over 33% of my body. I have had 30-plus surgeries to repair the skin grafts and tissue expanders since 2003. I came home a Purple Heart recipient, but my mother knew that we were only a few heartbeats away from giving her a new designation — a Gold Star. 

So far you seem to have denigrated a prisoner of war, disparaged a four-star general who devoted his life to service, and disrespected the faith and the grief of a Gold Star family.  Any one of these actions alone would otherwise disqualify a person auditioning for the role of our commander in chief. 

I cannot understand why you have continually attempted to dishonor the memory of Army Captain Humayun Khan. You have repeatedly attempted to link him and his family to radical Islamic terrorism by even bringing their names up in the same sentence.

You say that you support our military, but your actions tell a different story. You assert that you have made sacrifices on par with the Khan family. I must ask you; do you truly understand the fundamental difference between investments and sacrifice?

Your reaction to his family’s emotional statement has shown me two things: First, you have a difficult time picking your battles. In the military, this is an important lesson that soldiers learn. You attended a military academy in your childhood and you are a businessman, so I know you understand this strategy. 

If your response to this family had simply been to acknowledge their ultimate sacrifice and to say that as Americans, they are constitutionally entitled to their opinions, that would have been enough. You chose a different tactic. You chose to stay in the news cycle with your increasingly outrageous statements of condemnation of a family who, by all accounts, should absolutely be off limits. Click here to read the rest.

Martinez concluded his letter by telling Trump to get a better handle on the word sacrifice, as well as learn basic human decency if he wishes to become commander of the armed forces. Of course, that’s like expecting a monkey to stop throwing its own poop for 5 minutes, but Trump had better stop before it’s too late.

Featured image via Getty|Valerie Macon / Stringer

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