Actions support our troops, not words
As a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, I pay close attention to what our elected officials do — not just what they say — when it comes to standing up for our troops.
I was concerned about reports that Donald Trump, our commander in chief, called veterans “suckers” and “losers.” I was disappointed when Trump said Sen. John McCain was “not a war hero” and claimed, “I like people who weren’t captured.” It was troubling when Trump dismissed traumatic brain injuries as “headaches.”
But these are all words. I try to focus on actions.
However, Donald Trump’s decision to veto the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act, which provides a 3 percent pay raise for our servicemen and women, is the final straw for me. Trump is making excuses, saying it’s about China, but we all know what it’s really about — Trump is mad at Twitter, and he’s demanding payback for social media companies to be included in this critical, must-pass legislation.
Trump lost the election, and now he’s throwing a temper tantrum while our troops are waiting for a desperately needed pay increase.
Trump tweeted his veto “will make China very unhappy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The defense bill includes billions in funding for a new Pacific Deterrence Initiative to beef up our military presence in the region and counter China. It also includes a provision by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to fight money laundering and crack down on the abuse of anonymous shell companies, which the Chinese military has used for criminal purposes. Brown responded to the president on Twitter, “A veto would be doing the Chinese Communist Party a huge favor.”
Supporting the troops shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and it definitely shouldn’t be an issue where Trump uses our servicemen and women as pawns for his petty little vendettas.
JOE DONDA JR.