In his Oct. 11 letter, Julian Delgado called Donald Trump a “draft-dodging coward." Although not technically a “draft dodger” because of a medical exclusion, those of us that served in the military during the Vietnam era recognize exemptions given Trump and other “chosen ones” for exactly what they were: falsely legalized ways for the privileged to avoid law-mandating military service. We recoil each Veterans Day and Memorial Day when such people say, “Thank you for your service” when they really mean “Better you than me!”
Anti-war sentiment during Vietnam was widespread, including in the military. There were guys like me who opposed the war but respected the law and the concept of service to our country. We voiced opposition and dealt with harassment by military superiors and hypocrites like Trump for doing so.
There were those who were opposed to the war but felt that America was their country and they had no intention of abandoning it. They chose to go to prison for their beliefs; they don’t even get the phony thanks.
There were those who deserted the U.S. and fled to countries giving asylum, later receiving amnesty from Jimmy Carter.
And there were the privileged like Trump that preach patriotism, love of country, etc., as long as it is someone else doing the fighting.
It is not NFL kneelers that disrespect America. It is Trump and his ilk of self-centered, arrogant, egotistical hypocrites. As warned by George Washington, “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
— Carlos L'Dera, Bakersfield