Letter to the Editor

President and veterans

Recently various news sources including a Fox correspondent have quoted anonymous individuals saying Mr. Trump called the members of the U.S. Armed Forces killed at the Battle of Belleau Wood and buried in France suckers and losers. As an individual who served in Vietnam and has done battle for this country, I take exception to his words.

In Vietnam, I served in the Second Squad of the Second Platoon of A Company of the 7th Combat Engineer Battalion. The men in this squad spent from one third to one half of their time performing mine sweeps. Through a combination of skill and lots of good luck, no one ever hit a mine in an area which we said was cleared. Put another way, if we said an area or road was safe, you could bet your life on it.

This is a record which was achieved in adverse and dangerous circumstances. This is demonstrated by the fact that eight Purple Hearts were awarded to the 11 men who served in this squad. This is a decoration given to those injured by enemy action. Six of them received Bronze Stars for meritorious service in a combat zone. This is a record of which these men can be proud. And many other soldiers serving with innumerable other outfits have achievements to which they can point to with pride. Mr. Trump's failure to respect and recognize the virtue of ordinary individuals doing the extraordinary is inexcusable.

Therefore, Trump must not be re-elected.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau