In 2017, Donald Trump spent more time golfing and vacationing than any president in US history. What work was that cutting into? Besides everything, Trump didn’t keep a single day open to visit troops in combat zones- a first for US presidents.
The Trump campaign spent a lot of time talking about supporting the military. Trump gave speech after speech about increasing spending on weapons and gear. Since the election, the Trump administration has increased bombing in Afghanistan and other countries. Yet, when it comes to showing a personal support for the troops themselves, Trump has been mostly absent.
Vote Vets, an organization that represents over 500k military veterans, reiterated this point in a tweet.
“First off, Donald Trump’s been avoiding combat zones since 1964 when he got his first draft deferment.” – @will_c_fischer , VoteVets Director of Government Relations and an Iraq War veteran, on @potus not visiting troops stationed overseas. https://t.co/Iofe1rVXY5
— VoteVets (@votevets) January 10, 2018
Trump, who would brag about his sporting prowess in high school, claims to have suddenly developed bone spurs that precluded him from military service. This led to a deferment. In total, Trump received five service deferments to avoid the draft.
Gregg Zoroya, from USA Today, said this:
Troops serving in combat speak of a shared, nagging sense that, apart from family and friends, most Americans back home seem oblivious or have forgotten that U.S. military members are still risking their lives overseas. But this sentiment melts away for the moment when the commander in chief comes calling.
In 1990, George H.W. Bush visited troops during Operation Desert Shield in the Gulf War. He later visited Somalia in 1993 to visit soldiers and marines stationed there.
In 1997, Bill Clinton visited troops who were stationed in Bosnia.
George W. Bush made multiple visits to troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq after those wars began in 2003.
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Barack Obama visited troops in Iraq a mere three months after he took office.
“They go out there, they shake people’s hands, they say ‘Thank you for what you’re doing,'” said one soldier who was stationed in Iraq in 2004.
It remains unclear if Trump will ever visit troops in combat. Showing those troops his support doesn’t seem to be a priority for him.
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