At a rally in Virginia, Tuesday, a veteran handed over his Purple Heart to presidential hopeful Donald Trump, but the well-meaning gesture – or Trump’s reaction to it – wasn’t received well by some.
“You know something very nice just happened to me. A man came up to me and he handed me his Purple Heart,” Trump told the crowd.
“He said, ‘That’s my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.’ And I said, ‘Man that’s like big stuff. I’ve always wanted to get the real Purple Heart.’ This was much easier,” Trump added.
Immediately, Trump’s words were ridiculed by Sean Barney, who received the Purple Heart after being shot in the neck while serving in Fallujah in 2006. Barney called out Trump in a Facebook post, noting, “No one should ever ‘want’ one of these,” while holding up his own Purple Heart.
Barney closed the post by saying, “Donald Trump has not sacrificed for this country and he does not understand duty to any cause other than himself.”
Spokesman for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, John Bircher, told NBC that while the medal is typically passed on to family members, recipients obviously can give their medal to whomever they choose.
“I would hope that anyone who receives a Purple Heart medal for any other reason, understands its importance and meaning, and would not do anything with it that would in any way denigrate its special meaning for those who have received it,” Bircher said.
However, there’s some question over whether the Purple Heart Trump received is even real, because apparently the veteran who handed him the medal also told NBC News that it wasn’t actually the Purple Heart he received, but rather a replica.
[ NBC ]