These Politicians Are Using Their Purple Hearts to Give Donald Trump a Major Reality Check

August 4th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Donald Trump accepted a Purple Heart from a veteran at a Virginia campaign event on Tuesday and proclaimed, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier."

trump purple heart

His comments ignited quite a bit of outrage on social media — particularly from politicians who served in the armed forces.

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, responded to Trump's remark in a tweet.

Congressional candidate Sean Barney (D-Delaware), who received a Purple Heart for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, also slammed Trump in a powerful Facebook post.

"As someone who fought for our country in Iraq, was injured, and was awarded a Purple Heart, I can tell you, no one should ever 'want' to get a Purple Heart," Barney wrote.


Barney, who was shot in the neck by a sniper in Fallujah, has also spoken out about his experience with PTSD during his campaign run, Politico reports. Though Barney has been lauded by fellow veterans for his openness, it's also been recognized as a political risk.

Trump's gesture — holding up a Purple Heart, and congratulating himself on "getting one" — likens the military decoration to an honorary degree, and strips it of its actual meaning.

As The New York Times reported on Monday, Trump also deferred the draft for the Vietnam War five times, which sheds a particularly unflattering light on his comments in Virginia.

Though veterans and their families were particularly quick to slam him for his remarks, they weren't the only ones.

Eric Trump, for his part, congratulated his father in a tweet.

[h/t the Huffington Post]