Bill Spaniel | Reconciling Trump and Veterans

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I periodically receive emails from Rep. Mike Garcia touting his efforts to improve the lives of military personnel and veterans as well as honoring those who serve our country. For example, his Feb. 9 email includes information about his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in support of military pay increases, an obituary of World War II Marine Palmer Andrews, and his presentation of medals to Navy veteran Ben Berk.

So I hope Garcia, a veteran himself, will commit to opposing Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president, especially because Trump consistently berates military personnel and veterans. Most recently, for example, Trump implied that Nikki Haley’s husband deserted her while he is deployed overseas as part of his Army National Guard service. Trump called Sen. John McCain, a POW in the Vietnam War, a loser. And he has made several crass remarks equating his support of efforts to boost military spending with the sacrifices made by our service men and women who lay their lives on the line for the United States.

Trump also seems to be encouraging putting our troops in harm’s way. On Feb. 11 he essentially said he would not help defend NATO allies invaded by Russia if those countries were “delinquent” in their dues to the alliance. The United States is obligated by treaty to fight NATO aggressors. Anything that encourages Russia or other potential enemies to invade a NATO country weakens the alliance. A weakened alliance will necessitate the use of more American personnel to protect our interests.

Haven’t we’ve learned the lesson of World Wars I and II? We lessen the likelihood of the United States sacrificing its youth and our fortune by ensuring that our allies know that we will support them and that our enemies will understand that antagonizing us or our friends is not worth the cost.

Garcia can best honor our military and veterans, himself included, by announcing that he will not support Trump as the Republican candidate for president.

Bill Spaniel

Santa Clarita

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