By, Siraj Hashmi
Cameron Kerr, a medically retired Army Lieutenant living in Alexandria, Virginia, decided he had had enough of the Republican nominee's antics after he accepted a Purple Heart medal from a supporter during a campaign stop he made in Ashburn, a town only 45 minutes away from Kerr, on August 2nd.
Trump brought the Purple Heart recipient on stage at his rally, saying, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier."
Kerr didn't care about the supporter giving Trump his Purple Heart award, believing he had every right to do what he wants with it. But after hearing Trump's comments, he was shocked; this isn't an award anybody wants.
"It's just absurd," said Kerr. "He's totally trivializing something that people have to literally bleed and/or die to earn."
After all, Kerr is speaking from personal experience. He was deployed as an Army officer under the 101st Airborne division in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he stepped on an IED while helping an Afghan soldier that led to the amputation of his lower left leg in February 2011.
So, instead of venting his frustrations on social media, Kerr used his self-described "dark humor" to bring light into darkness.
He started a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign called "Help Trump Get a Purple Heart" to raise money to pay for a possible trip if Donald Trump chose to accept the challenge where he could go to the conflict zone of his choosing and earn a Purple Heart because, as Kerr puts it, "you're never too old to follow your dreams."
Although he realizes that Trump wouldn't take him up on this challenge, he instead decided to donate all proceeds to help Syrians and refugees through the International Rescue Committee, the Syrian American Medical Society, and Refugees Welcome.
After a few shares on Facebook and Twitter, news publications caught wind of the story and it began to go viral. In just a little over a week, Kerr had raised over $63,000 from over 2,600 donors, surpassing his original $5,000 goal by over 1,200 percent.
When asked why he chose to donate the money to Syrian refugees, Kerr responded by saying, "[it's] a good cause that he would vehemently oppose."
Trump had called for the ban on all Muslims from entering the country, with a particular focus on Syrian refugees, after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in late 2015.
Due to the success of his GoFundMe campaign, Kerr created the Facebook page called "Donald Trump's Metaphorical Swear Jar". Through Trump's hatred and ignorance, the Swear Jar will help him inadvertently raise money for the targets of his attacks.
Kerr just hopes people will learn that you can use satire to combat bigotry and xenophobia to turn his "toxic" comments into something positive.