An Open Letter To Donald Trump From A Former Combat Marine

Your total lack of understanding of what goes on in a combatant’s mind is evident.

Photo credit Rex Trailer

Tell me, Mr. Trump, why I should vote for you. Please don’t tell me Hillary Clinton would not be a good Commander-in-Chief because I don’t buy that. Besides, this is about why I should vote for you and not the faults, if any, of the other candidate. Here’s why I will not vote for you:

To begin, I understand your company had more claims filed against it by Veterans citing discriminatory practices than any other company in the United States of similar size. Your ridicule of a United States Senator, and every POW by your disgraceful remarks ― “I like people who don’t get caught... just because someone gets captured don’t necessarily make him a Hero,” ― are something I thought I would never hear an American saying, let alone a candidate for President. A friend of mine had an Uncle with a POW plate on his car; whenever I saw that car I, along with everyone else ― I guess, except you ― knew there was a Hero behind the wheel. As a former Marine, I admire General Allen, and I’m proud he is a Marine Corps General. Your gratuitous slander of him, a General well-known and respected by all for his capabilities and leadership, was disrespectful and irresponsible.

Your total lack of understanding of what goes on in a combatant’s mind is evident in your ignorant position on torture. As a combatant I believed, if captured, I would not be tortured, but instead imprisoned until the war’s end. I believed in that law and that’s what kept the fear of being captured in place. True, the enemy didn’t always abide by the rules, but those were the rules of war and the enemy knew it too. My inner strength came from knowing that I, and the rest of the world, knew the United States would not tolerate its combatants being tortured because we didn’t torture our prisoners ― and that’s what kept violations in check.Your lack of combat experience is because you refused to go when everyone else was going and dying. When the war in Vietnam heated-up, it appears you must have bribed a doctor to forge a document stating you were medically unfit for military service. You claimed bone spurs in your feet that didn’t appear to bother you while wearing your good-looking military boarding school uniform, marching in parades down Broadway. You refused to fight, and now you want to be Commander-in-Chief.

Your couching and baiting of Putin on the world stage to commit espionage by breaking into American computers to assist you in your slander of Hillary Clinton was criminal. I say this for if a private citizen were caught trying to appeal to Putin in the same manner to commit espionage, the private citizen would be immediately arrested and charged with attempting to interfere with a Presidential Election by aiding and abetting the receipt of stolen property ― the hacked e-mails.

You have even questioned the sorrow of a Gold Star mother, a mother who was obviously having difficulty holding back tears at the sight of her son’s photograph that filled the hall and the mentioning of his name. Her Hero son, Captain Humayun Khan, was remembered by his father Mr. Khzir Khan with such strength, dignity, and grace that only you were able to find fault within his message, instead of taking heed; or at the very least, showing some respect by keeping your big stupid mouth shut!

One other thing, how dare you be in possession of a Purple Heart. No disrespect intended to the combatant who earned the award. It is his to do as he chooses. He earned it, the old fashioned way - with his blood. You, however, have no standing to be in possession of a medal that is earned with blood in defense of our country. You disrespect the Purple Heart by thinking of it as another trophy. You announced to the world: “I always wanted one but I didn’t want to do what I had to do to get one...”. And you want to be my President?

Finally, I feel compelled to write this open letter to also question the sight of Veterans on television and at your packed rallies in support of your candidacy. I don’t understand it, they should be embarrassed to be seen. Do they not know what I, and everybody else seems to know? If so, how are they able, in all good conscience, support a Trump candidacy? As a Vietnam Veteran, I feel supporting you as Commander-in-Chief would betray every combatant who has ever served our country, especially my Brethren, the Vietnam Veteran. You didn’t fight - instead, out of fright, you ran. So tell me how can those few Veterans, because there shouldn’t be any, stand in support of you?

Bill Ranney, former Combat Marine and Lifetime Member DAV

I recently added Rex Trailer to my photo credit. He took the photo of me at the museum at Paris Island on my fiftieth year of becoming a Marine. Rex was my best friend for over forty years and it looks good just seeing his name with the memory of him holding the camera that day as I looked at him. Miss you Cowboy.