Soldiers I knew were no ‘losers’ Mr. Trump

First Lieutenant Victor Lee Ellinger was no loser, Mr. Trump.

He was shot and killed by an enemy sniper during the Vietnam War and I forced marched my platoon to come to his aid only to find out we got to him too late to help.

He was no “sucker,” having enlisted the same year that you miraculously developed bone spurs on one of your feet, getting your fifth deferment to keep you out of the military and any chance of being in harm’s way. It was the same year I was drafted and later commissioned to lead a bunch of other young men into battle.

I was livid when I saw the news report of you disparaging the men who were killed in combat. An Atlantic Magazine’s journalist,  Jeffrey Goldberg, citing multiple anonymous sources who had firsthand knowledge of the conversations, reported Thursday on the comments. They were confirmed later by another reporter and responded to by Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president.

Lieutenant Victor Lee Ellinger was the pride of Staunton, Va., and his remains are interred with his mother and father in a family plot where I laid a wreath, saluted him, yelled at God for taking him away and cried my heart out.

——————————–

Now I learned that you would not even honor the hundreds of US Marines who gave their lives during “The War to End All Wars” in France. You refused to go to a cemetery near the site of the Battle of Belleau, blaming the rain for the cancellation. But Goldberg said that you rejected the idea because you feared your “hair would become disheveled in the rain,” and because you “did not believe it important to honor American war dead.”

Goldberg added:

In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Goldberg said later in the article that Trump had also referred separately to John McCain, the late senator and war veteran, as a “fucking loser.”

Veterans and the families of veterans will make you pay a price for these cowardly assertions. You, Mr. President are not even worthy enough to tie the laces of their combat boots.

——————–

Update: On Veterans Day — 11-11-2020 — it was reported that four out of five military election ballots opened in Allegheny County of my home state of Pennsylvania were votes for President-Elect Joe Biden. And while most military personnel are rather conservative and usually vote Republican, service members did not forget what Trump said, and he paid for his disrespect to the troops.

19 comments on “Soldiers I knew were no ‘losers’ Mr. Trump

  1. contoveros says:

    Here is an update on how veterans — usually a conservative group — supported Biden over Trump during the 2020 election:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/11/11/1994967/-Veterans-swung-heavily-toward-Joe-Biden-this-year-Democrats-need-to-keep-that-forward-momentum

    Like

  2. It was really passionating, emotional.
    Thank you for this Awesome post.☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      I felt moved by the crass statement Trump made of men who died in combat. He called them “losers.” He also called me a “sucker” for having entered the military and served in the war. He will deny it but we know the type of man he is and always will be and soon we will get him out of the office and in a courtroom where the statute of limitations has not run yet on his many alleged crimes.

      Thank you!

      Like

  3. onesurvivor says:

    Sadly, his original words were taken out of context about cowards and losers. He was not talking about our brave soldiers and his actions towards our soldiers time and time again have proven that.

    As for the event that you wrote about, eyewitnesses, many eyewitnesses, even those who are not fans of our president have spoken out and said he never said what they’re saying he said. It is all a disinformation campaign.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      I felt I had to respond to the nasty comments this man said. I can’t think of any other president that would ever say such cowardly things.

      Like

  4. Hello Michael, I have the utmost respect for anyone who defends his country and puts him, or herself on the front line, so we are safe. Deepest gratitude to all who have served and continue to do so. The president has shown time and again, how he feels himself to be above the moral and ethical code of decency. If the last four years have not show his supporters how twisted he is, then you have to wonder what will show them. I admire his niece’s courage in speaking out. Not only does she have first hand experience, but she is also professionally trained in psychology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      I don’t know anybody who actually wanted to go to war in the 1960s. I pushed my draft up after breaking up with an old girlfriend not realizing that I’d end up leading a platoon of soldiers in combat a year or so later. We never thought about going to Canada or getting a family member to pay some “quack” to forge an illness to keep us out of the army.

      I respect the niece for her professionalism and the fact that she is a clinical psychologist who is trained in the observation of the human psyche. She has first-hand knowledge about his indecent behavior and has tapes from Trump’s older sister that show he even cheated his way into Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

      Despicable is what someone might call such behavior. But it’s par for the course for a man like Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob palumbo says:

    He never said it wait for all facts

    Like

    • contoveros says:

      This comment reminds me of our good friend from the old neighborhood, Johnny Keller, who swore up until the day that he died that Richard Nixon had done nothing wrong. There will be people who will believe the same about Trump.

      The man has a history of disdain for the military. His niece, a clinical psychologist, said in her book that he threatened to disown his son, Donald Trump Jr, should he follow through with plans to join the military. In addition, the prenuptial agreement Trump had with one of his ex-wife’s clearly stated that the $100,000 stipend for his daughter Tiffany would end should she ever join the military
      .
      Plus he lied when he never said that he called John McCain a “loser.” Even Fox News had to admit it even though Trump demanded the station fire the reporter who provided supporting journalistic details to support the Atlantic story.

      Like

  6. contoveros says:

    The following comments were registered on Facebook:

    Andrea Hornett
    Trump avoided the draft. Avoided a bad hair day. Avoided re-election if there are any justice and mercy in this land.

    Contoveros
    Five deferments. And he can’t even tell you which foot had the bone spurs. Justice will be served!
    —————–

    Patricia Muronoff Kalafut
    Hugs to you Michael J Contos. I’m going to share this. I’m beyond livid after reading that article in The Atlantic.

    Contoveros
    Thanks, my dear. I read your Facebook pages and am amazed at how many people who usually vote Republican will vote for Joe Biden.
    ——————

    Nancy Stinson
    This gave me goosebumps. Well said, sir.

    Contoveros
    Thanks. I am humbled and filled with joy just to read this comment. Let’s give a big cheer to the journalists who are on the front lines bringing light to the darkness that the president is causing for our nation.
    ——————

    Marty Ketzi Wolfson
    Michael thanks for your post. In WWII I lost a cousin who could have come home, but volunteered for a mission over Sicily he was a tail gunner on a bomber and he was declared missing in action and I remember his Mother holding out hope for years that he would be found alive. My father in law and an uncle received a purple heart. My father served in the Coast Guard reserves he was past the draft age at the time and after a hard day doing the heavy lifting at work he would stand watch on navy ships in the Delaware River. I enlisted in the Navy when I was 19. I was lucky I got accepted to the Navy School of music and was assigned to a Navy Band, but when I enlisted I had no idea where I would be assigned or sent. This president should not be classified as a Human Being.

    Contoveros
    Many of us veterans can recall with deep sorrow friends and/or family members we lost or got wounded while in harm’s way. That’s what makes us human as opposed to someone who is inhumane!
    —————–

    Abby Cohen
    Thank you for this. Passing it on.

    Contoveros
    My pleasure. This struck me deep in my heart and I believe most people were shocked to hear about this coming from the president of the United States of America.
    ————–

    Ron Landsel
    “Private Bone spurs” AKA Trump is facing yet another controversy — this time, because of a bombshell article by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that details Trump’s contempt for military heroes, including those who were killed, injured, or captured in combat. Goldberg’s article is full of appalling examples of Trump making derogatory statements about veterans — for example, Trump attacked the late Sen. John McCain as a “fucking loser” for becoming a prisoner of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War and described the World War I veterans buried at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery as “suckers” and “losers.” But as appalling as those statements are, they aren’t surprising. Trump’s history of demeaning military veterans is well-documented, and the comments cited in Goldberg’s article are totally consistent with the president’s self-centered view of the world.

    Contoveros
    “Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle illuminating the way for the whole nation.”
    That’s what Thich Nhat Hahn has said and I believe we will have an impact on how the whole nation will deal with this calamity in the White House.
    —————

    Regina Precise
    No, they were not.
    Hero’s all Hero’s.
    Our president isn’t the brightest color in the coloring box.

    Contoveros
    Yes, those who gave their lives in service to our country are indeed heroes.
    ——————-

    Barbara Quinn Osborne
    The unnamed sources should put their names on their claims!!! Otherwise, anyone can make claims that are not true and do not need to provide proof!

    Contoveros
    Barbara Quinn Osborne, I served in the military as well as the Fourth Estate, and I trust the veracity of this reporter more than I do the subject of the story.

    It was good reporting that has been followed up by several other news agencies including the Associated Press, the New York Times, and The Washington Post.

    Barbara Quinn Osborne
    Thank you for your service! That is your opinion and I respect that, but for me, I am always a little skeptical when “anonymous sources” are cited regardless of who the subject is and where the story is printed.!
    Contoveros
    Barbara Quinn Osborne, Fox News had two stories confirming many of the facts presented in the Atlantic story. Check ’em out.
    I don’t think Fox is one of those so-called “liberal organizations” to be skeptical about.

    Barbara Quinn Osborne
    There is no confirmation Michael except the anonymous sources who are cited in the story. Unless the anonymous sources put their name/names to their accusations and can produce proof I not buying it. Most of the people who were on that trip with the President say it never happened including John Bolton who Is not a fan or supporter of the President. Anyone can hide in the shadows and make accusations against a person and not have to provide proof of their accusation!!! How easy and convenient! Just my opinion!!!

    Contoveros
    Barbara Quinn Osborne,
    I feel bad for people who want to believe in someone even though their own history shows them to be untruthful, particularly about their feelings toward the military and serving our country. It must be painful to admit their failings.

    Trump threatened to disown his son, Donald Trump Jr., when the young man wanted to enlist in the military, according to Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist.
    In addition, Trump forced one of his ex-wives to sign a pre-nuptial agreement which would have deprived his own daughter — Tiffany — from receiving a $100,000 stipend per year if she decided to join the military. You can look it up!
    _____________________
    I also know how people will reveal facts to a reporter but ask that their names to be held anonymous. While working as a newspaper reporter, I wrote about the shenanigans of a bank that avoided paying taxes to a local township. In addition, I also reported how a minister took advantage of his church in a scheme to get more money for his church building and other properties. I confirmed the information from the two different sources and was only too glad that the officials trusted me with the facts.
    I would rather go to jail than reveal their identities.

    Andrea Hornett
    Anonymous sources mean that the reporter, and usually her/his editor, KNOW the source. For reasons of personal security or job security, the source cannot tolerate publicity. Accordingly, the source’s name is not published. In this case, several other legitimate news sources corroborated the legitimate Atlantic’s story without exposing and thereby injuring anonymous sources. In conclusion, this is an established and well-verified narrative that should serve well to inform thoughtful voters.

    Nancy Stinson
    Barbara Quinn Osborne, I’d like to have the names of the sources too, but since that’s apparently not possible here, I can look back at other things Trump has said and ask myself if the statements in this story are consistent with his other statements. Without a doubt, they are.
    Were you shocked to hear him dismiss John McCain’s service, including five years of torture in a Hanoi prison? Of course, Trump denied his words, but he has told thousands of lies during his tenure.

    Contoveross
    Nancy Stinson
    I salute my good friend from the Fourth Estate, Nancy Stinson, who knows about reliable sources who depend on journalists to tell the story when their lives could be placed in jeopardy.

    Contoveros
    Yes, my dear Andrea, the tradition of using anonymous sources dates back to colonial days and how the press revealed facts persons in power never wanted the public to know.
    Let’s not forget that most of the stories the Washington Post published about Nixon were based on these types of sources all of which were confirmed by at least other sources before publication.
    ———————

    Mike Sangiacomo
    And Trump has shown he will destroy anyone who reports the truth about his evil.

    Contoveros
    But truth-tellers will continue to shine the light on the dark ones and help the rest of us get through this nightmare.
    ——————

    Mercedes CM
    Jesse Lineberger

    Contoveros
    All veterans know the pain a fallen comrade causes family and friends. We are all brothers who will look out for each other!
    ——————

    Martha Bush
    They will be fired as he fired the honest, patriotic first-hand witnesses of impeachable offenses. And wanted and tried to fire the whistleblower. And fired anyone close who spoke truth to power. That’s my observation. It’s been collaborated by several other news outlets. Yes, it is totally consistent with how he spoke of John McCain and the gold star family. Not news.

    Contoveros
    The press and the media will provide us with the truth and we will use it to guide us through what can only be considered one of the darkest times in our history. They can’t be fired and no one will put a muzzle on ’em despite the threat of lawsuits.

    Martha Bush
    Although as the press has experienced and reported in various dictatorships, the leader first goes after the press. That is the beginning. Just in Latrobe (and I assume at every rally): T points to the fake news in the back. these are reputable trained professionals whose credibility has been undercut for many. Instead, they believe in Qnon sources. Sad times.

    Contoveros
    You know your history well and we’ve seen what happened in Nazi Germany to scare the heck out of all of us here in America.
    Let’s not forgotten what one bully said at the time “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Adolf Hitler

    Trump kept a copy of one of his books at his bedside for years and years.
    ——————-
    .
    Luba Schmid
    Thank you, Michael. 🇺🇸💙🇺🇸

    Contoveros
    Just doing my duty when the Spirit calls out for a response to the words of such a horrible person, president, or no president.

    —————

    Cindy Gough James
    Feeling inspired by the power of your experience and your expression. Thank you, dear man, for all of who and what you are. So much love your way.

    Contoveros
    Somethings can move you to take action by word or deed and I am just grateful that I have a vehicle in which to express myself when the spirit moves me. Thanks!

    Like

  7. Robert & Debby DeBree says:

    Hi Michael, Bob wanted to reply how he remembers that day and it brought him to tears, also to thank you for posting

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      It’s a day I will never forget and I am so grateful for having visited Victor Lee’s gravesite and fulfilling a “bucket list” thing to do in his honor.

      Two soldiers in our platoon had to be medivaced out by helicopters because of heat exhaustion brought in by the forced march. But I’d do it again to try to help a fallen comrade.

      Like

    • contoveros says:

      The following is an e-mail I got from Bob Debree, my former radio operator in the Vietnam War:

      “Remembering the forced march to an area where someone had been wounded and picked up by chopper we cleared area “brush” and pulled guard duty’s but never knew who was wounded or that others were taken out for heat exhaustion. I went on R & R with a Mexican Seargent. I don’t remember his name upon our return I was told the 25th Division went home and I was going to The 101st Division And got my shit together and left for the jungles up north.

      I received Bronze Star in your platoon and never knew why. I only remember doing whatever I was told to. I carried the radio for the last months before going on R & R always wondered how everyone made out!”

      Robert DeBree
      ——————-
      Formerly First Lieutenant Michael J Contos:

      I remember you, you son of a gun!

      You’re the only one from the old platoon that I have had contact with after all of these years. I did speak to Charlie Ellis, the platoon leader of the second platoon. He lives in Arkadelphia Ark., and I was able to trace him down through his mother who was still alive several years ago. He became a public defender just like I did years after the war!

      I was relieved of my command when I called mortar fire onto the enemy and one of the rounds fell short wounding several of our troops. There was an investigation and I was held responsible.

      I was then shipped to another company and lead another infantry platoon until I was relieved again when the enemy attacked one of the squads being lead by my new platoon sergeant. The platoon staged a mutiny against Lt. Col Salucci and refused to get on the helicopters when they learned of my firing. I convinced them to go into the field and avoid any court-martials.

      I got transferred to the 23rd Division up north and lead a mortar platoon on a base camp. It was the same division that the war crime called the “My Lai Massacre was committed by Lt. William Calley and his platoon.
      I got a 21-gun salute upon leaving the camp from a bunch of crazy soldiers who appreciated their “Lt.”

      Glad to hear you’re still around. You ought to write down some of the adventures (and misadventures) for your family. I am sure they would appreciate it.

      Good to hear from you!

      Like

  8. Rebecca Goff says:

    My Dear Friend, Michael,
    You delivered such passionate truth and perspective to this horror of a “president”
    You know what duty, honor, and love of a country is, which has transformed you into a whole and Loving human being. I am honored to know you! Keep expressing truths. This country/world needs it! I will
    find ways to spread your message! Blessings my friend 💖Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      Your dad would have felt the same way that I do because if the loss of comrades lost in battle. I can’t think of many veterans and the family of veterans who will support Trump when learning about his antagonism to those who gave their all for our country.

      I’m glad there are many people like you who feel the same way and will do everything possible to insure we dispose of this evil man.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca Goff says:

        I love that you and I have found a way to express about my father. One of my best experiences with my father, was his intelligent perspective about history, humans, and politics. He expressed so much about what he saw in Donald Trump. He knew Donald had the ability to keep doing what he pleased as he could get away with it. So far, this has been the case, no one has stopped this man from any of his instincts, which have proven to be cruel, self serving, and totally ignorant of any decency. When Donald came up to my father, to shake his hand at the 75 Anniversary of D-Day, in Normandy, I witnessed something that repulsed me, as Dad said to Donald, you did a good job (referring to Dons’ written speech), and I got a chance to look into Dons eyes, and they were blank. Asking Dad afterward, “why did you say that?”, Dad replied, I think he needed that. So Michael, it appears most of the planet has had to “coddle” this strange phenomenon of a human, which makes me wonder, how many weak humans are there? What kind of a “messenger” is Donald Trump? Certainly one that has turned peoples lives upside down! Good to discuss, and wait to see!
        This Military stuff is only a fraction of his evil, but one that I pray brings him down! 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

        • contoveros says:

          Rebecca, Your dad — a real trooper — showed empathy and compassion toward a man who lacks both of those qualities.
          I believe that Trump’s words about our military heroes will lead to his crushing defeat and the start for the nation to return to normal and lots of healing.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.