19 Jul 2015

POW “War Heroes” and Mr. Trump

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William G. Zincavage, Special Troops, USMC Third Division 1942-1945, Guadalcanal, Vella la Vella, Guam, Iwo Jima

When the last colliery in the Region closed in 1954, my father borrowed several thousand dollars to pay the bribe necessary to gain entry to the Steamfitters Union. The nearest construction work was far away in Westchester County, New York. My father worked on various construction jobs in Westchester, commuting home only on weekends, until he retired in the late 1970s.

When I got to be a teenager, my father was able to pull strings to get me work as a helper on construction. One of the regular journeyman plumbers I used to work with was a thin, depressive Polish guy, named Walter Something-ski.

Walter was always complaining about how rough he’d had it as a prisoner of war in WWII. Walter had been an infantryman in the 28th Division. The 28th Division was roughly handled and finally overrun during the Battle of the Bulge by Hasso von Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army, and Walter was one of many Americans who surrendered and became prisoners.

Walter felt that former prisoners of war, like himself, deserved greater recognition for their war-time sufferings. He thought there ought to be a special POW medal. And he was always talking about his terrible POW experiences and complaining about the POW’s post-war lack of status and recognition. Walter felt he ought to be getting a special pension for having been kept in captivity by the Germans behind barbed wire.

My father was the wrong guy to ask for sympathy. And when Walter would start bitching, my father used to rib him mercilessly in response. My father would tell Walter that, “In the Marine Corps, we were told we were not supposed to surrender.” Or, he’d say, “What are you complaining about? You were safe, being fed, living indoors, and nobody was shooting at you.” Or, my father would say, “If you didn’t like it there, why didn’t you do what you were supposed to do and escape?” Walter would exhibit frustration and do a visible slow burn of indignation but, as I expect WWII proved, Walter was not much of a fighter, and my father was a very tough hombre, so Walter never dared to express his resentment of my dad’s remarks in any more direct way.

I was, of course, reminded of my father’s lack of sympathy for poor old Walter by Donald Trump’s unkind recent remarks concerning John McCain.

In Ames, Iowa, Republican pollster Frank

Luntz had asked Trump about his reaction to McCain’s comment that Trump had stirred up the “crazies” with his candidacy. When Trump attacked McCain, Luntz asked if Trump was comfortable with that kind of criticism of a war hero.

“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Commentators on the left and on the Right, Republicans and democrats, responded by jumping gleefully on the Donald, declaring his candidacy over on the basis of this particular remark.

Of course, nobody, except possibly Donald Trump himself, has ever expected Trump to become the Republican Presidential Nominee in 2016.

And, despite all the old ladies of both sexes throwing up their skirts over their faces at such an outrageous and unseemly exhibition of indecorum, I expect a lot of Americans find it more than a little refreshing to have one candidate out there who shoots from the hip, who says what he thinks, and who refuses to be careful not cross any controversial politically correct lines.

Yes, I think Trump was being a bit unfair to poor old John McCain who did suffer all sorts of genuine torture and abuse at the hands of those communist bastards in North Vietnam but, after all, a few unkind words from Donald Trump are pretty small potatoes compared to being turned down for the presidency in favor of a community agitator state senator with no actual record of accomplishment whatsoever whose claim to the chief magistracy of the nation was based purely upon the color of his skin. I’d say 69.5 million American voters insulted John McCain a lot more seriously in 2008.

And, then, too, points for John McCain’s Vietnam prisoner-of-war sufferings eventually run out. McCain used them up extravagantly over the years by being the US Senate’s leading Republican sell-out and by betraying Conservatism and the GOP again and again and again in every major legislative confrontation. Personally, I’m pretty much out of gratitude for John McCain’s Vietnam services.

5 Feedbacks on "POW “War Heroes” and Mr. Trump"


Awesome glimpse at WW2 vet exchanges on their war service. Trump, a person with no military service, is no doubt the intentional bull in the political china shop. He is exploiting Dolly Parton’s assertion that there is no such thing as bad publicity. God help us if a combination of Dem crossovers and GOP protesters put The Donald in as the nominee.


Agree with you 100%. In previous elections, and even at the beginning of this one, Trump’s announcements deserve the rolling of the eyes and a questioning of his motives.

But Trump inadvertently grabbed the third rail with his immigration comments.

The possibility of making immigration an issue in the election is what the establishment is trying to stamp out, they intended to dance around it with the usual “we need to secure the border” lip service, with no intention of following through.

Trump just happens to be the guy that struck the nerve, I think by accident, and the right kind of brawler to play it for all its worth.

I never expected Trump to be the nominee but I pray that the other candidates are forced to take up the immigration issue and make more than empty promises.

Time will tell.

Bill Jones

“Yes, I think Trump was being a bit unfair to poor old John McCain who did suffer all sorts of genuine torture and abuse at the hands of those communist bastards in North Vietnam”
Do you have proof of that?



Clinton, why are Trump’s motives suspect? Did the others who graciously offer themselves to be our leader perchance all take holy orders at some point? Where is the evidence they act selflessly and are free of political calculation and secret deaing?


I do not doubt McCain’s travails as a soldier in service to the United States of America. I appreciate his sacrifice.
Since that day, he has become a two-faced, double-talking congress-critter.
There are no sacred cows in politics, everything is fair game. No mud too dirty, no skeletons too dusty.
I don’t care for Trump, confident he is no better or worse than any other. But I do appreciate his confidence in exploiting the emporers’ nudity. It’s got the thieving pack of liars turning on each other on both sides of the aisle in a blind frenzy.


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