TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Our Vets Inspire Pride, Not Cheap Political Stunts

On Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, Donald J. Trump sank even lower than anyone could expect. On a day when we pay homage to those veterans who gave their lives for their country, who paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedoms, that man turned it into a political Trump message

He who did not serve his country and maintained his training in his college military program was the equivalent of active duty service, dishonored the memory of all who died so that people like him would have their freedom of speech.

After demeaning men who were POWs, who were captured and survived — men like Sen. John McCain — he dares to turn a solemn moment into another rash of his political lies. And that’s exactly what he did.

After two absolute lies — his claim that he had raised millions for vets, and contributed a million of his own dollars to them — he announced that this week he would disclose what money was raised and where it went. This, after saying it had already been donated …  another lie that the people gratefully accept. This man can say anything, no matter who or what he insults, and get away with it.

I can only hope that he will be held accountable for his actions in the general election, no matter which opponent he faces. This man is a chameleon. He changes his lies to suit his audience.

He maintained that Rolling Thunder, the large annual motorcycle gathering to honor our vets, was also there to protect him. He once again bragged about how he would rebuild our weakened military … which just happens to be the biggest and strongest on this planet.

While The Donald did everything in his power to avoid military service himself, I think on this day of my dad and his brother, my Uncle Clinton Davies. Both were veterans, and both survived the war. Clint had seen combat, while Dad was all but standing on his head trying to figure how to get into the fight.

Dad was 5-foot-1. Back then — I don’t know about now — there was a height requirement to see combat. He didn’t make the height limit. But being the man he was, he investigated every route possible to get a waiver. He waived several requirements trying to get to the front:

• He waived the height requirement, which was in place because in fording a river, a man of his height might well drown.

• He waived the age requirement. He was 43 years old, give or take a year or two.

• He waived the family requirement. His four children were enough for an exemption from going to the front; and perhaps they knew the best, our youngest sister, Jean Marie, was yet to come.

So he headed for California, from which he was to leave for the front. Mother was furious. She did not think he was brave. She thought he was foolish — and selfish — to leave her behind with four wailing children.

However, a routine health exam was administered in California, and right before he was to leave, it disclosed Dad had ulcers. The military would not issue a waiver on that.

So, instead of heading overseas, he was sent to Fort Benning, Ga. There, he trained paratroopers … despite the fact that he never personally made a parachute jump of any sort in his entire life. True story. Apparently, in this case, those who haven’t done — teach.

Though Mother was none too happy about his actions, she was incredibly proud of him. I know she finally forgave him. That’s because a few years later, my youngest sister, Jean Marie, was born.

My Uncle Clint did give either Dad or my older brother, Tim, a captured Japanese flag. It was gorgeous — red and white rising sun on a silken flag. That flag just caught my attention in a good and bad way. Back in the day, we either played cowboys and Indians or war games. I always played Cochise and never lost a battle against the cavalry.

War games, however, became my undoing. Some friends and I played on the grounds of a warehouse that stood behind my home. Many times, we played King of the Castle on a large dirt mound. On this particular day, though, we were playing war.

The Japanese flag was flying proudly over the enemy-held hill when we decided to attack with ersatz napalm — lighter fluid in a squirt can. I have no idea who brought the matches, but I did filch the fluid from my dad’s dresser. I’ll tell you, when we attacked the enemy stronghold, we whacked them hard and fast!

Warning: If you have a real Japanese flag, do not mess with matches. We squirted the flag, thinking it would just flare up and burn off the fluid. Not! That thing was engulfed in flames so fast we could only stand and watch it burn … to ashes.

All I could think of was that, sooner or later, Dad was going to ask where the hell the flag was. I didn’t have to wait long for an answer. About that time, he came home from work, wandered into the back yard to tell me dinner was ready and saw the pole that was still smoldering. He asked what had been on the pole. Before I could think of a big lie, my friend said, “We just torched your flag.”

Dad was small in height but very imposing in person. He gave me that look of “I’m going to kick your ass so hard you won’t hit the ground for a week.” Then he took me by the shoulder and said, “Let’s go in to eat. We aren’t ever going to let Clint know what happened to the flag.”

That’s the kind of man my Dad and his brother were: proud Americans who served their country with distinction — and who honored those who died for our freedoms.

After watching that damned Trump demeaning the memory of the departed warriors with his speech full of lies, I knew I had to counter with my own feelings and recollections.

I have never served. My brother, my father-in-law and many of my in-laws have, and I could not be more proud of their service to this country.

This is the greatest country in the history of the world — let us never forget that. We don’t need to make America great again. It is great now, and it always has been. I hope those who think otherwise stay in the private sector, not our elected leadership.

* * *

Hey, folks, I predicted that a very experienced newcomer to Fargo city elections would get the big F’s endorsement. I was right! In the city of Fargo, we are so fortunate to have so many qualified candidates; you can’t find an unqualified one. But remember this — when we ask our young people to get involved, to run for office, but then always endorse the seasoned veterans — is that a good message? Does there really have to be an official media endorsement all the time? Food for thought. Amen.

2 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Our Vets Inspire Pride, Not Cheap Political Stunts”

  • D Fisher June 2, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    My thoughts precisely. Thank you.

    1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) June 3, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks Dennis


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