Sean Barney is a wounded combat veteran of the Iraq war and is currently running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in Delaware. He is also not a big fan of Donald Trump’s recent trashing of the honor and sacrifice that goes into being awarded a Purple Heart.
You’ve probably heard by now that Trump’s flippant response to being given (a copy of) a Purple Heart by a veteran was “I always wanted to get a Purple Heart. This was much easier.”
Sean Barney, rightfully, took exception to this flippant and disrespectful comment from the Republican presidential candidate.
Barney said, “As a veteran, I was quite simply astonished. I fought for our country in Iraq. I was wounded, and was awarded a Purple Heart. I can tell you, no one should ever “want” to get a Purple Heart.”
Barney continued saying, “I enlisted in the Marines after September 11, 2001. I did not want others to be sent to fight in my place in Afghanistan. I am proud of my service, and beyond proud of those I served with, even though I was ultimately sent to fight not in Afghanistan, but in our war in Iraq, a war this country never should have fought.”
“The Purple Heart bears the image of our first commander in chief, George Washington, but Donald Trump, who seeks to be our commander in chief, plainly does not understand what the medal represents” Barney wrote in his letter. He continues “One of the Marines I served with in Iraq, a Republican, remarked to me after Trump spoke, ‘Does he understand that many Marines have gotten their Purple Hearts at their funerals? Wonder if he would still want one.'” Ouch.
In response to Trump’s vicious attack on the Gold-Star Kahn family after the DNC, Barney writes that “The President’s power to draw on that willingness to sacrifice and to send young men and women into harm’s way is a sacred trust. Having thick enough skin to receive criticism from military families without lashing out at them is a baseline prerequisite for assuming the responsibility for making decisions that can end up leaving empty seats at family dinner tables.”
Donald Trump clearly does not understand the meaning of the word “sacrifice,” nor does he have thick enough skin to be given that sacred trust that Sean Barney writes about.
You can read the entire open letter HERE: