Veterans respond to Trump’s comments disparaging fallen soldiers



“I hate Trump more than I hate Jane Fonda”





Even though President Trump denies allegedly saying that fallen soldiers and U.S. military service members are “losers” and “suckers,” many Americans believe he did utter the words including former Marine Gonzalo Reyes (left) of Kansas City, Kansas who found those words offensive. Reyes is proud of his service to his country and loves working side by side with others in the military.



BY JOE ARCE AND COREY CRABLE


With less than two months until Election Day, the Trump administration has spent the first half of September scrambling to contain the fallout from disparaging comments the president recently made about fallen soldiers.


In an article published by The Atlantic earlier this month, President Trump allegedly referred to fallen soldiers and U.S. military service members as “losers” and “suckers.” Trump has repeatedly come out several times since the story broke to call its account “a hoax” and “a totally fake story,” claiming he has “done more for the military than almost anybody else.”


Veterans from all military branches have been quick to denounce the controversial statements, with vets and civilians at both the local and national levels expressing their disgust and anger at Trump’s latest in a litany of scandals that have plagued the White House for nearly four years.


Local Kansas resident Cecilia Ysaac, in a recent Facebook post, discussed how she comes from a long line of military servicemen in her family who have served in every major war and conflict in the past century.


“I am proud of my family, and while Private Bone Spurs talks trash about servicemen and women, I know he does it out of fear because they are better than him, and I take comfort in that,” Ysaac noted in her post, referring to Trump’s claimed medical deferment from military service due to bone spurs in his youth.


Another Facebook post cited an original post from Vietnam War veteran Bob Evans, who penned a scathing critique of Trump’s mistreatment of military officials.


“I don’t come from a family of losers,” writes Evans, whose family roots in the military can be traced back to World War I. “…(Trump’s statements) are the most disgusting, un-American, traitorous, hypocritical utterance by an individual who by rights never should have been (president).”


Retired Army Major General Paul Eaton, meanwhile, tweeted a video Sept. 3 that has since gone viral – another critique of Trump by a decorated war hero.


“You have shown disrespect to the military on countless occasions,” Eaton addresses Trump directly in the video. “I am stunned that anybody in the United States military would consider you anything but a ‘loser’ and a ‘sucker.’ You’re no patriot.”


Local resident and Vietnam veteran Gonzalo Reyes says he can never forgive the president uttering such harmful statements.


“That is the epitome of carelessness toward our vets, especially coming from the president,” says Reyes, who, as a U.S. Marine, served in Vietnam in 1970. “That is the lowest of the low. … When (Trump) opens his mouth, it’s nothing but lies, and his followers hang on his every word.”


Reyes is on the front lines of advocating for his brothers and sisters in the military who have served the country – he suffers from the effects of Agent Orange and works to raise awareness of resources available to veterans who might have the same affliction.


“(Trump has) hurt every family that’s ever been folded a folded flag. He has damaged that family, that memory, with those kinds of comments,” Reyes says. “I hate Trump more than I hate Jane Fonda, and I hate him more every day.”


Both Reyes and Ysaac urge Hispanics, military service people, and veterans alike to go to the polls on Nov. 3 to make a clear statement about Trump, his administration, his statements, and his policies.


“I’ve told all of my friends, ‘Listen, the only way you can get respect for your family is by voting Trump out of office,’” Reyes says.


Ysaac says she agrees that such an action will send a message to Trump that soldiers and veterans deserve to be honored and respected.


“After you vote (on Nov. 3) … will you be able to look active and veteran servicemen and women in the eye and say you voted for a commander-in-chief who respects them or not?” she says.