By Paul Kink, Stevensville
A statement from a Gold Star family member on Donald Trump’s referring to military personnel killed in action as “Losers and Suckers”:
I was visiting with my mother on a beautiful Sunday morning in August of 1969 when an army vehicle pulled up to the curb and we were informed that my brother, David Robert Kink’s chopper had been shot down on August 3, 1969 and he did not survive.
I have never written a letter to the Bitterroot Star in my 35 years as a resident of the Bitterroot Valley. I must admit I was tempted to do so in July of 2018, when, speaking at a Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Donald Trump took his running feud with Arizona Senator John McCain to a new level, stating “He’s not a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” When Senator McCain died, in August, 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral.”
I was again tempted to pen a letter in July, 2016, when Donald Trump slandered the family of fallen U.S. soldier Humayun Khan, but I did not.
I am now compelled to finally speak out when, according to a report in the Atlantic on September 3, 2020, and reported on the networks, that in a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of a scheduled visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.
I am, as should be all of us who love our country and whose military members have given so much to defend our democracy, outraged!
This is a new low, even for Donald Trump. As the statement from VoteVets said, in response to the Atlantic article, “Donald Trump does not respect our men and women in uniform. He does not respect their families. He does not respect veterans. And worse, he has matched his vile language with action. He has abused our military, has made our country less safe, and has put our men and women in harm’s way for his own political gain.”
It should be noted that Greg Gianforte, a candidate for Governor of Montana, Senator Steve Daines, running for re-election as U.S. Senator, and Theresa Manzella, candidate for Montana House District 85, who, by the way, has stated that she is proud to be considered the “Donald Trump of Ravalli County,” all have voiced their support for Donald Trump.
Are these the types of people that support of this sort of contempt that we want to represent our Montana values? In my humble opinion, I would certainly hope not!
This is probably the most important election in our lifetime! Please vote!