Purple HeartAugust 4th, 2016
I very seldom have talked politics in all the years I’ve been broadcasting for one simple reason, no one cares what my political leanings are and that’s the way it should be. Just like you wouldn’t want to hear a broadcaster go on and on about his or her religious beliefs outside of a religion based format. You believe what you believe in both religion and politics or you don’t….your choice. Lucky for us, the United States offers us that right. However, I’m a bit shocked about how Donald Trump handled two recent events; first his response to the Gold Star parents who spoke at the Democratic Convention and then this past Tuesday, at an event in Virginia, where he accepted a Purple Heart from a veteran. The exchange with the Khan family could’ve been handled with a lot more decorum but I’m going to focus on the Virginia event. When handed the Heart he said, “is that the real one, or is it a copy?” When informed it was real, Trump’s response was “I’ve always wanted to get a Purple Heart, this was much easier.” Full disclosure, I never served in the military. I was in the lottery system that started in the late 60’s and because of my number I was never called. So the real reason I’m writing this is my father received a Purple Heart for injuries he suffered in WWII, the loss of one eye among other injuries……injuries that shadowed him, one way or another, until he died at the age of 68. Injuries that contributed to him not being able to overcome other health issues in the last year of his life. I found it very difficult to watch Mr. Trump holding that medal like he had just pulled it out of a Cracker Jack box or won it playing skee ball and commenting how “much easier” it was for him to get one knowing the suffering my father and every veteran who was awarded that Heart went through. Donald Trump proclaimed at his convention that he wants to be “our voice.” Well, since my father is not here anymore, I want to be his voice and say how saddened I was to see the Purple Heart treated like that in the hands of Donald Trump. I can’t obviously speak for the veteran who gave him the medal but I have to say what I witnessed showed a complete lack of respect and dignity for a symbol that carries so much pain, character and bravery. I’ll leave you with something my father said to me hours before his death, “better days are coming.” I sincerely hope so.