Letter to a Marine Corps Buddy

I wrote this email to a buddy of mine from our days in the Marines:


Andy,

I keep thinking about your uncertainty about the upcoming election and I understand where you are coming from. I will admit straight away that I do not like Trump, and didn’t like him before he was elected, and like him much less since. But something makes me wonder how to put two and two together with your open attitude toward him. I’ll try to explain where my confusion lies.

When I think of you, what comes to mind is a great friend that I met in the Marine Corps and am still friends with. My Marine Corps experience was much different than yours. I did the training and the time, but I was an outsider in the respect that I was not called on to use the skills they taught me. But when you came into my life I said, "There’s a real warrior, the best kind of Marine.” You truly did make sacrifices, and I know at the time you thought it was for God and country. I thought that way too at the time. I also know that your attitude toward that action in Vietnam has changed as has all of ours. I've been to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington many times and find it difficult not to cry. I’ve been to the War Remembrance Museum in Ho Chi Ming City, and to Hanoi and many other beautiful places around Vietnam. The whole place is simply an amazing country. And how those people have healed and do not hold what they call 'the American War' against us is something I cannot understand. But I felt a lot of forgiveness come from those people toward me, and when I left the country I knew I had an experience I could have no other way than by going there and meeting the people. They are awesome.

Here’s the thing though, while you were slogging through rice paddies and jungles in Southeast Assia, and being awarded your hard earned and well deserved Purple Heart 10,000 miles from your home and the people who love you, Trump was thinking we were all a bunch of suckers for not being able to get out of service like he did with his phony bone spurs. He was home probably trying to date the wives of men who were fighting alongside of you. You’re one of the few people I know I can say this to who will understand it. What kind of man criticizes John McCain for spending five years as a POW at the Hanoi Hilton? And what about his nasty words to the Gold Star family during his election campaign? These people gave everything, and Trump has never done anything but take. This guy has no soul. He has no respect for service and sacrifice.

I find it impossible to fathom that he can be the commander in chief and that he can criticize so many people who are so much better than him. He can do it because they give him a microphone and he can use his bully pulpit. And what are bullies 100% of the time? COWARDS - 100% of the time. And he is surrounded by people who will not and cannot stand up to him. Those who do, get criticized and fired. That’s not leadership, and that’s not making America great again.

Those are just a couple of things that come to mind. I am particularly offended that Trump is so disrespectful to military people. My father was a warrior and so were many of my friends. So I take it very personally. I hope you don’t mind my giving you my two cents, but since you say you are somewhat on the fence, I wanted to give you this perspective.

I hope you are well and I hope to see you again shortly. Semper Fi my friend.

Pat

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