No, Trump Is Not Pro-Military


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

President Donald Trump never stops hurting our veterans and troops.

Kristina Vakhman, News Photography Editor

Every time President Donald Trump praises our men and women in uniform, it’s all a charade for the cameras. There is no other president in modern history who has neglected our troops as much as Trump.

Citizenship no longer being automatic for children born to United States military members living overseas is just the latest example in an egregious trend of dismissing the needs and struggles of soldiers and veterans.

The new Trump administration policy – which states it affects the likes of children of parents who recently naturalized or who are U.S. citizens but never lived here, among others – is a pointless attempt at immigration reinforcement that only makes the lives of military members more difficult than they already are.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, only a few hundred people will be impacted by this change per year. That doesn’t make the detrimental significance any lesser. These military members are dedicating themselves to a country they’ve never set foot in or were not born in; that is all the more reason to ensure they don’t have to take extra steps to attain citizenship for their kids.

But Trump doesn’t appear to care even about the U.S.-born military members here at home. Time and time again, he has signed off on cuts to programs that are meant to support our country’s troops and veterans.

In July, the Trump administration announced plans to divert $6.1 billion in Department of Defense funds to the border wall. That $6.1 billion includes money for Medicaid, Medicare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Slashes to these initiatives “hurt the millions of veterans who rely on them to access health care and achieve economic security,” the House Committee on the Budget wrote in response.

Nonetheless, Trump finds his border wall, which is simply a reelection strategy, to be more important than the 1.8 million, the 9.4 million and the 1.4 million veterans who depend on Medicaid, Medicare and SNAP, respectively.

Moreover, earlier this month, a ProPublica investigation reported that Trump’s Department of Veterans Affairs turned the other cheek to a new regulation that “would make it far easier to deny green cards to low-income immigrants,” including veterans and their families. Though the Defense Department worked to minimize the policy’s influence, it still takes effect in October and will not affect active-duty military members as much as it does those who have already served.

There’s more: denying transgender troops from being in the military, pushing a controversial antidepressant on veterans, attacking gold-star families and widows, telling veterans to their faces that he could give himself a Medal of Honor. The list of shameful actions is seemingly never-ending.

It’s true that Trump has done some good; he recently signed an executive order that “seeks to remove the bureaucratic barriers for [25,000] permanently disabled veterans to qualify for student loan forgiveness,” according to The New York Times. He has also vocalized support for “red flag” laws that would take guns from the mentally ill, including military members so that they don’t kill themselves or others.

However, sporadic gestures like these, likely done for damage control after the other harm Trump’s caused, still do not erase the unreasonable injury his administration has done to crucial aid programs.

Saluting with a coffee cup in your hand is not disrespectful to our military. What’s actually disrespectful is consistently giving our troops and veterans the cold shoulder by denying them and their families the benefits they earned a right to after risking their lives for our country.

But what else can be expected from a five-time draft dodger?