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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

As President Donald Trump’s egregiously disrespectful attitude toward members of the military has come under closer scrutiny, he has received an increasing amount of criticism for never having visited service members who serve overseas in dangers combat zones.

While there’s certainly always some risk for a president to make such trips, the military is well-equipped to plan and arrange these visits with safety as a key goal. Other wartime presidents have traditionally made such ventures. One main motivating reason is that they feel a duty to show up for soldiers who literally put their lives at risk every day at the commander-in-chief’s direction.

A new report from the Washington Post reveals that Trump’s hesitancy is due to a very predictable reason: fear.

“He’s never been interested in going,” one anonymous official told the post, referring to conversations directly with Trump. “He’s afraid of those situations. He’s afraid people want to kill him.”

Trump has suggested, in light of the criticism, that such a visit is in the works, though there are no official plans yet.

President Barack Obama visited Afghanistan four times and Iraq once while he was in office, the Post reports, and he had previously traveled to combat zones as a senator.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

 

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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