Armchair pundits Tuesday went to war with Donald Trump after the Republican presidential nominee proudly displayed a newly acquired military decoration typically awarded to soldiers wounded or killed while engaging enemy forces.
“I’ve always wanted to get the real Purple Heart. This was much easier,” Trump, who avoided serving in Vietnam via a combination of medical and educational deferments, told a crowd of supporters gathered in Ashburn, Virginia.
@alivitali Damn heel spurs.— G. Willis (@TheG_Dep) August 2, 2016
The real estate mogul thanked Iraq War veteran Lt. Col. Louis Dorfman for bequeathing him such an award, bringing the military man on stage for an impromptu photo op.
@alivitali pic.twitter.com/0jACF8PsQm — Oma (@YnVoma) August 2, 2016
Dorfman later told NBC News that he handed over the award to assist Trump in his ongoing battle with the family of fellow Purple Heart winner , late U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan.
The man gave Trump his purple heart to remind him that "more than one vet" died for the USA. It was to defend Trump for the Khan fallout. — Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) August 2, 2016
Political observers marveled at Trump’s choice of words.
Some questioned his understanding of the award.
@alivitali No one wants to get the Purple Heart. Ever.— Kurt Gessler (@kurtgessler) August 2, 2016
A few emphasized his reluctance to serve.
@alivitali Trump always wanted to be wounded in battle? Given his 4 draft deferments, somehow, I doubt it. — Angela Morabito (@Bear2theRight) August 2, 2016
One found the entire episode terribly unsettling.
While others simply chalked it up to Trump being, well, Trump.
@alivitali Receiving awards & accolades based on the sacrifice of others. That sure sounds like Trump in a nutshell. — Dreamweasel (@Dreamweasel) August 2, 2016
Contact Rojas at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @WARojas. And Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat seeking a Senate seat, shared her own experience: She lost both legs in the Iraq War.
Iraq vet and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth posted this message to Trump today pic.twitter.com/hoC127zTSk— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) August 2, 2016