Trump claims that Sen. John McCain, a decorated Vietnam navy pilot and POW was no hero: “[McCain’s] not a war hero,” Mr. Trump said in July, 2015. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
In July, 2015, after his McCain "no hero" remarks, Trump expressed his support by opening a Veteran's Hotline. There was at least one article criticizing the level of support when the line was first opened. A February 16, 2016 article noted that callers to the hotline were routed to a recorded voice message that instructed the callers to send an email.
Trump threatened to boycott the Iowa Republican Debate sponsored by Fox News/Google if Megyn Kelly was kept as a moderator. When Fox kept Kelly as a moderator and issued a statement mocking the treatment Trump might expect from the Ayatollah or Putin, Trump scheduled and held a fundraiser for veterans, claiming to have raised $6 million. This was part of the Fox statement: "We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings."
Some veterans groups that have said they do not want Trump's money, claiming he is just using them for political purposes, have been attacked by Trump supporters.
In a Howard Stern interview Trump said that he was lucky not to have contracted diseases when he was sleeping around. Says very brave soldier Trump: “I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there. It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”
Addressing a Cedar Rapids, Iowa rally in February, 2016, Trump said that soldiers traveling in armored Humvees are safe from improvised explosive devices. "The best in the world, armor-plated, top, bottom, all over. If a bomb goes off, our wounded warriors, instead of losing their legs, their arms, worse, they’re okay. They go for a little ride upward, and they come down."
Trump recently claimed, "I know more ISIS than the generals do, believe me." Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling responded, “I’m trying to remain apolitical in this, but it’s increasingly difficult to do that when you hear these kind of statements of individuals who have not been there, who don’t know more than the generals do, and in many cases, don’t know more than the privates do,” he said. Hertling suggested that Trump “might want to take a visit to Iraq or some of the combat areas and see how things work on the ground. It’s now getting into the scary category.”
“He is talking about things that he knows very little about. It’s not only a little bit scary, but it’s also dangerous, and it’s also immoral."
Trump was sent to the New York Military Academy, an expensive prep school to correct his behavior which included blackening his music teacher's eye. He entered in 8th grade and stayed through high school. He claimed that he "always felt he was in the military" because of his boarding school experience. In fact, he's said that the school gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”
Trump received four educational deferements from the selective service draft while studying at Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania. On Sept. 17, 1968, two months after being classified 1-A (available for service), he reported for an armed forces physical examination and because of a medical condition was classified as 1-Y, or unqualified for duty except in the case of national emergency.
On December, 1969, a national draft lottery was held to obtain service conscripts, and Trump was assigned number 356. Trump and his campaign have given differing accounts on how he avoided the draft, on occasion saying he just had a high draft lottery number but then contradicting that by saying he had a bone spur on one of his feet although he couldn't recall which one. His campaign later issued a statement saying that he had spurs in both of his heels.
In 1972, Trump's draft status was changed to 4-F, unfit for duty.
(1) Michael Barbaro, "Donald Trump Likens His schooling to Military Service in Book," New York Times, Sept. 8, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/us/politics/donald-trump-likens-his-schooling-to-military-service-in-book.html?_r=0
(2) Craig Whitlock, "Questions linger about Trump's draft deferments during Vietnam," Washington Post, July 21, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/questions-linger-about-trumps-draft-deferments-during-vietnam-war/2015/07/21/257677bc-2fdd-11e5-8353-1215475949f4_story.html
(3) Johnathan Martin and Alan Rappeport, "Donald Trump says McCain Is No War Hero, Setting Off Another Storm," New York Times, July 18, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/us/politics/trump-belittles-mccains-war-record.html
(4) Philip Rucker, "Trump slams McCain for being 'captured' in Vietnam; other Republicans quickly condemn him," Washington Post, July 18, 201, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/07/18/trump-slams-mccain-for-being-captured-in-vietnam/
(5) Tim Mak, "Draft-Dodger Trump Said Sleeping Around Was My 'Personal Vietnam'," The Daily Beast, February 16, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/16/draft-dodger-trump-said-sleeping-around-was-my-personal-vietnam.html
(6) Andrew Kaczynski, "Trump Insn't Into Anal, Melania Never Poops, And Other Things He Told Howard Stern," BuzzFeed.com, February 16, 2016, http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/trump-isnt-into-anal-melania-never-poops-and-other-things-he#.wj5mRZMmYO
(7) Jon Campbell, "Donald Trump's 'Vetran Hotline' is Five Minutes of Hold Music and One Possibly Stoned Guy," Village Voice, July 21, 2015, http://www.villagevoice.com/news/donald-trumps-veteran-hotline-is-five-minutes-of-hold-music-and-one-possibly-stoned-guy-7400242
(8) -, "Trump campaing says Donald won't participate in Fox News/Google debate," Fox News, January 27, 2016, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/27/trump-campaign-says-candidate-won-t-participate-in-fox-newsgoogle-debate.html
(9) Eaman Javers, "Trump: While they debated, we raised $6M for vets," CNBC, January 29, 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/27/trump-campaign-says-candidate-won-t-participate-in-fox-newsgoogle-debate.html
(10) Kellan Howell, "Veterans groups to Trump: Keep your money," The Washington Times, January 28, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/28/veterans-groups-trump-keep-your-money/
(11) Kellan Howell, "Trumpers lash out at veterans who denied contributions: 'Keep your mouth shut and take the money'," Washington Times, February 17, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/17/donald-trump-supporters-lash-out-at-veterans-who-d/
(7) Steve Guest, "Army 3-Star: Mass Resignations if Trump 'Bombs the S***' Out of ISIS, Daily Caller, November 13, 2015, http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/13/army-3-star-mass-resignations-if-trump-bombs-the-s-out-of-isis-video/
(8) William Treseder, "Iraq Vet: It's Infuriating to See Donald Trump Use Veterans," TIme.com, http://time.com/4200357/donald-trump-veterans/
(9) Michael McLaughlin, "Donald Trump Says Soldiers 'Go For A Little Ride' When Roadside Bombs Hit," Huffington Post, February 1, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-says-soldiers-go-for-a-little-ride-when-roadside-bombs-hit_us_56afefefe4b057d7d7c7ecae