Hawaii’s Donald Trump supporters plan to rally at the Oahu Veteran’s Center on September 10. “The Oahu Veterans Center provides a wonderful venue for the event and is symbolic of Donald Trump’s long-standing support and dedication to the Nation’s veterans,” said Gigi Jones, director of Trump’s Hawaii campaign.
Donald Trump, who has never served in the military and received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War (one for “bone spurs”), said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, that he believes he has sacrificed just as much as those who have served in the military. It was his first response to a charge at the Democratic National Convention from Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, that he “sacrificed nothing” for his country. Trump claimed that he sacrificed by employing “thousands and thousands of people.”
“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” Khizr Khan said, addressing Trump. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Pressed by Stephanopoulos to identify the sacrifices he made for his country, Trump said, “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
Trump also cited his work on behalf of veterans, including helping build a Vietnam War memorial in Manhattan and raising “millions of dollars” for vets.
Paul Rieckoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a nonpartisan group with close to 200,000 members, said, “For anyone to compare their ‘sacrifice’ to a Gold Star family member is insulting, foolish and ignorant. Especially someone who has never served himself and has no children serving. Our country has been at war for a decade and a half, and the truth is most Americans have sacrificed nothing. Most of them are smart and grounded enough to admit it.”