Republican nominee Donald Trump got what he said he’s “always wanted” — a Purple Heart — after a military veteran gifted the honor to Trump at a campaign rally on Tuesday in Ashburn, Virginia.
Upon presenting Trump with the gift, retired Lt. Col. Louis Edward Dorfman III said, “That’s my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you,” Trump recounted to Politico.
The New York Times reported that Trump has successfully dodged getting drafted into the army through several student deferments and a medical deferment for a bone spur during the Vietnam War.
Trump said receiving the gift was “much easier” than being awarded a Purple Heart for military service. Dorfman was given his Purple Heart in 2007 for being wounded in Iraq.
The Republican nominee has been scrutinized for recently attacking the Gold Star family of fallen Muslim U.S Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who criticized Trump’s stance on immigration at the Democratic National Convention last week.
Following Trump’s attacks on the Khan family, President Barack Obama said Trump is “unfit” to fill the role as the nation’s leader.
“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said, according to CNN.
Moments after Dorfman gave him the Purple Heart, Trump told a local high school, “I said to him, is that like the real one, or is that a copy?”
NBC reporter Katy Tur who spoke with Dorfman afterwards tweeted that the veteran actually gave Trump a copy of the medal he was awarded.
Nadia McCaffrey, mother of a fallen soldier, said Trump’s reaction to his gift showed that he doesn’t understand “how deep this gift really is,” CNN reported.
“To me, a Purple Heart is sacred for what is represents and should not be given to anyone who didn’t deserve one,” McCaffrey said.