Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
Trump reached his 500th day in office Monday. And that also marked 500 days of snubbing U.S. troops in war zones, whom he has never visited.
Trump has overseen an increase in troop levels in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria from 18,000 in December 2016 to 26,0000 in December 2017. After that, his Defense Department stopped reporting troop levels in those countries.
But Trump has yet to visit those fighting for our country in any conflict zones.
Paul Eaton, retired Army major general and senior adviser to VoteVets, slammed Trump in a statement to Shareblue Media.
“Getting a president to visit troops, in a war zone, is a huge logistical and security challenge, but it is worth it because of what it means to the men and women who are serving,” Eaton said. “I never much agreed with George W. Bush’s policies, but when he went to Iraq and served chow to the troops, for Thanksgiving, it meant a lot to them.”
Eaton added, “It’s also good for a president to get away from meeting brass in comfortable environs, and seeing conditions in which the men and women under his command are serving.”
Trump’s neglect of service members is also a departure from President Barack Obama. Less than three months into his presidency, Obama visited troops in Iraq. And he made surprise visits to troops in Afghanistan twice in 2010. Altogether, Obama visited the two war zones five times during his time in office.
Yet even after consistent and vocal criticism from veterans, Trump continues to hide from the men and women he sends into harm’s way. Despite this, draft-dodger Trump, who has consistently disrespected the military, has demanded a military parade in his honor.
Trump manages to find plenty of time for “important” activities like undermining democracy on Twitter. Yet during 500 days in office, he hasn’t made time for a single visit to those fighting to protect it.