PA Veterans Find Trump’s Remarks Offensive

Ahead of Donald Trump’s event in Mechanicsburg on Monday, Pennsylvania veterans condemned Trump’s offensive remarks and called on Trump to apologize to a Gold Star family he personally attacked multiple times over the weekend.

Donald Trump has attacked the US Armed Forces repeatedly: Calling it weak and ineffective, accusing our soldiers of stealing reconstruction money from Iraq, and denouncing prisoners of war for being captured.

Congressman Chris Carney, a former Commander in the United States Navy Reserve:

Folks like me who have served this country honorably for many years are absolutely disgusted at Donald Trump and what he said about those who have sacrificed for this country. It is clear Trump has neither the temperament nor the experience to be Commander-in-Chief and to lead the forces of the United States – especially when we have such complex issues bedeviling the country and the world right now. It is unfathomable that a man like that would want to sacrifice the honor of the military for his ego. Anybody who looks at this objectively will realize that Donald Trump is as hollow as it gets when it comes to being Commander-in-Chief.

Donald Trump has called for the military to violate the Geneva Convention’s ban on torture and conduct reprisal killings of the family members of enemy soldiers and terrorists: “We’re going to have to do things that are unthinkable.”

However, as retired Army Major General Gale Pollock pointed out, our soldiers have all taken an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and are required to refuse illegal orders.

We asked Pollock what protocol troops and officers are trained to follow if they are given an illegal order. She responded that you are supposed to raise the issue with the person who gave the order and explain why you believe the order to be illegal. If this does not solve the problem, then the issue must be brought up the chain of command. This is why the question of illegal orders issued by the commander-in-chief is especially problematic. To whom could our military appeal to countermand such illegal orders? This would raise the specter of a constitutional military-civil crisis where our military leaders were forced for the first time in US history to ignore the orders of its civilian leadership.

“After 36 years in the Army, I believe very strongly in the values we share in the military. Loyalty duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity, and personal courage,” said I think we have seen a trend of the military being insulted, whether it’s our prisoners of war, men who sacrificed their lives, or veterans. I am just really troubled by this, and I think it’s important we recognize that these behaviors, these accusations are unacceptable for a leader in America. Pennsylvanians respect the men and women who serve. And I would hope that many of us would be offended by the continued insults against our military that Mr. Trump has offered.

Last week, Mr. Khizr Khan the father of a Muslim American war hero gave a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention. He also called out Donald Trump’s offensive and divisive religious discrimination that would have prevented their son – an Army captain who gave his life to save other soldiers in his unit – from even entering the United States of America.

Fmr. Navy Lt. Commander Manan Trivedi was the battalion surgeon with the first units to cross the Iraq border in 2003.

Frankly, I find Donald Trumps latest rhetoric disgusting, disgraceful and reprehensible towards veterans. It’s just one more piece of proof that he lacks any kind of judgement to be our Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately, I have seen first hand the ultimate sacrifice that people like Captain Khan and so many others have made. For Donald Trump to denigrate his family and service is beyond the pale.

For him to attack a mother who is still grieving for her son. It’s shameful.

This is not the first time for Trump. Remember his comments about Senator John McCain. Time and time again, Trump has insulted our veterans, and our men and women in uniform deserve better.

Meanwhile, Trump’s most vitriolic supporters are praising him for refusing to apologize to the Khans including Trump’s advisor Roger Stone who called Khizr Khan a “Muslim Brotherhood agent”. Similarly, the white nationalist video blogger Ramzpaul and the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer spouts hatred:

So, an Islamic terrorist from Pakistan infiltrates the US military, with the intent of getting high-quality training to use in his jihad against Whites, and also perhaps for the purpose of sabotage, and accidentally gets his dumbass killed.

And now, the Jews tell us we’re supposed to celebrate him as a hero? Just because he’s dead? […]

I am hereby calling for the Khan family to be immediately deported to Pakistan. What’s more, I want their terrorist son’s body dug up and shipped back with them.

This terrorist filth has no more right to rot in our ground than he had to walk on it.

Trump’s comments on the Khan family are the latest in a series of his disrespectful rhetoric and record aimed at American veterans and military families such as lying about donations to veterans’ charities, firing employees because of their military service and verbally attacking prisoners of war.



  1. Joseph B Fischer says

    Pennsylvania Republican Gold Star Mother Denounces Trump’s Attacks on Khan Family

    On a press call today, Sue Loudon, a registered Republican and Gold Star Mother from Western Pennsylvania, discussed Donald Trump’s latest disgraceful and disrespectful attacks on the Khan family, which proves he is unfit and unqualified to be president, and announced her support for Hillary Clinton in November. Mrs. Loudon also rebuked Donald Trump’s comment about an “easier” way to get his own Purple Heart.

    Sue and Randy Loudon from Brockport, Pennsylvania, are two of 23 family members of fallen U.S. service members who wrote a letter to Trump to express their dismay at his treatment of the Khan family. She is the mother of 2nd Lt. Christopher Loudon, KIA, Iraq.

    Below is an excerpt of her remarks:

    “I am a registered Republican, but I am not a push-button Republican. In other words, I don’t select that select all button on the voting machine. I consider myself first and foremost an American. So, I was highly inspired by Khizr Khan speaking as a Gold Star father and a Muslim during his Democratic Convention speaking on his son’s sacrifice. And that was both a brave and honorable thing for him to do. His wife’s grief to me was palpable. And Donald Trump seems incapable of reading emotions in people.”

    “On another point, yesterday’s Purple Heart story. The veteran that chose to give his Purple Heart to Donald Trump certainly had the right to do that. But my son lost his life for his Purple Heart and Arlington National Cemetery is filled with service men and women that did the same. My question to Donald Trump: maybe Donald Trump would like to read my son’s autopsy report to know exactly what happened to him to earn his Purple Heart. Across this country, our wounded earned their Purple Heart in a way that Donald Trump only superficially referenced and will never know nor truly comprehend. Ultimately, I can never support a candidate that fills people with so much hate and fear. And ultimately, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton.”


    For Immediate Release, August 3, 2016
    Contact: [email protected]


  2. Joseph B Fischer says

    Mike Parrish writes:

    Today, I am not writing to ask you to contribute or volunteer for my campaign. I am writing to talk to you about an issue that is deeply important to me – standing up for Veterans and military families. We have all watched with horror over the past few days as Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has viciously attacked the Khans, who have sacrificed so much for our country. We cannot know the pain that the Khans have experienced, but we can admire their courage in standing up and honoring their son’s memory.

    As a Veteran and Colonel in the Army Reserves, I take deep offense to Trump’s attacks. More than that, I am troubled and offended by Donald Trump’s proposals to reform the VA and move toward privatization. These proposals have been criticized by veterans’ groups, like the VFW and AMVETS, who generally oppose any effort to privatize the VA. There is a good reason for their opposition. Privatization would deprive Veterans of the comprehensive, specialized care they need, care which they have earned through bravery and sacrifice for our nation.

    Unfortunately, my opponent, Ryan Costello, not only supports and endorses Donald Trump for President, he is Trump’s ally in the push to privatize Veterans’ healthcare. Mr. Costello may claim that he opposes privatization, but his record tells a different story. He has supported Speaker Ryan’s budget, which deepens the arbitrary budget cuts that began with sequestration. These cuts weaken the VA and hurt Veterans healthcare. At the same time, Mr. Costello has co-sponsored legislation, opposed by Veterans groups such as the VFW, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans to name a few, that will push the VA toward privatization, while accepting over $250,000 in special interest money from those who will make huge profits if Veterans’ healthcare were to be successfully privatized.

    This is unacceptable. As a service disabled Veteran myself, I understand the specialized nature of the comprehensive, coordinated care the VA provides. I have received excellent care at the VA in Coatesville, care that is superior to that which I have received from private healthcare providers. The VA system is not without problems, and in Congress I will lead the way to fix those problems without trying to turn the VA into a profit machine for special interests at the cost of Veterans and taxpayers.

    My full statement on this issue is below. I hope you will take the time to read it, and that you will share it with your friends and family. This is an important issue, and the voters need to know where my opponent and his preferred Presidential candidate really stand. I truly believe that standing with Veterans and military families is as important to you as it is to me. Thank you for your continued support.

    Mike Parrish


    August 2, 2016

    Parrish Blasts Trump attack on Gold Star Family, Calls Trump/Costello Agenda Dangerous to Veterans

    WEST CHESTER, PA – Mike Parrish, Democratic candidate for Congress in PA-06, U.S. Army Veteran, and Colonel in the Army Reserves, sharply criticized Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s offensive statements aimed at the Gold Star Khan Family. Parrish also criticized his opponent, Rep. Ryan Costello’s support for Trump, as well as Costello’s record on veterans’ issues, and the move to privatize the VA. In a statement, Parrish said:

    “Donald Trump’s blatant disrespect for our veterans and their families is disgraceful. This is especially true in his attack on the Khans, a Gold Star family who has sacrificed more for our nation than most can imagine. As a Veteran, and as an American, I am appalled by Trump’s remarks, just as I was when he disparaged the heroic service of Republican Senator John McCain. Veterans and their families, particularly Gold Star Families, deserve the honor and respect of every American, and especially deserve the respect of our elected officials and candidates for public office, particularly a candidate who would be Commander-in-Chief if elected.

    My opponent’s support for a candidate for President who would so blatantly disrespect those who have sacrificed so much for our nation is an embarrassment for our entire community. The Trump/Costello Agenda to privatize veterans’ healthcare for the benefit of special interests is completely unacceptable.

    The American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veteran of America, AMVETS, The Military Officers Association of America and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have all criticized Mr. Costello’s legislation to move the VA toward privatization.

    Despite Veteran opposition to the legislation he has co-sponsored, Mr. Costello proudly trumpets this as work he has done on behalf of Veterans while accepting over $250,000 in special interest campaign contributions from the very people who will make tremendous profits on the backs of veterans and taxpayers if attempts to privatize the VA are successful.

    Contrary to his public statements, Rep. Costello is already actively trying to move Veterans’ healthcare in the direction of privatization as part of the Trump/Costello Agenda. Mr. Costello supports the arbitrary budget cuts known as sequestration, which are starving the VA of desperately needed resources and negatively impacting its ability to care for veterans. At the same time, he is co-sponsoring legislation that would “fix” the problem he helped to create by expanding and making permanent a program that was designed as a short term solution to backlogs at some VA facilities, and as a supplement for veterans who lived too far from such facilities to visit them for routine healthcare needs. Make no mistake, the expansion of this legislation is an attempt to begin the privatization of the VA and deprive our Veterans of the specialized care they need and deserve.

    Like Costello’s legislation, Mr. Trump’s plans to reform the VA by moving toward privatization, have also been criticized by a wide array of Veterans groups.

    Together, Trump and Costello represent a dangerous agenda for the future of Veterans’ healthcare. We cannot tolerate such blatant disrespect for our Veterans and their families on the campaign trail, or in the halls of Congress.

    As a service disabled veteran myself, I benefit from the excellent care provided by the VA Hospital right here in Coatesville. Their care exceeds my expectations, and is superior to the care I have received from private healthcare providers. I understand why the VA’s specialized, comprehensive care is vital to Veterans. Veterans and Veterans’ groups almost universally oppose any attempt to privatize the VA. As a Veteran and as a member of Congress I will vehemently oppose any attempt to privatize the VA. If there are problems, I will lead the way in taking action to quickly and effectively address those problems, but I will not support dismantling the VA through privatization. Mr. Trump and Rep. Costello cannot say the same.

    Our Veterans and their families do not deserve Mr. Trump’s hateful attacks, and they do not deserve a Congressman who supports Mr. Trump. More importantly, our Veterans cannot afford the Trump/Costello Agenda for dismantling the care they have earned, and on which they depend.


    *Mike Parrish is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Use of his military rank, job titles and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense

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