News media with zero understanding of the US military trash President Trump’s standing with the military and veterans. Truth is – they are wrong. Here are the fact.
First, while a Military Times survey, owned by left-leaning USA Today, indicated in August 2020 that Trump’s support was down with the military, they failed to give context. Remember USA Today left Pence out of their post-VP debate survey – remarkable. See, e.g., https://www.foxnews.com/media/usa-today-poll-vice-presidential-debate.
While the military at large supports Trump, this poll was from their readership (more liberal), tipped to officers (ten percent, often politically correct), occurred before conventions (patriotic versus negative), hid how many declined (from fear), and occurred before revelations tying Biden to China and public corruption
Notably, Trump’s unfavorable numbers were unchanged from 2019, higher than Obama’s numbers, not far from Biden’s, while 13 percent will vote third-party, nine percent not at all. Is that representative? Unlikely.
In any event, hard data elsewhere, tells a different story. Trump has rebuilt the US military. He elevated pay and benefits, made the VA work, and has focused on fighting men and women. He has raised the bar – insisting on accountability in procurement, justification for scattered deployments, geopolitical endgames for engagements, and modernization.
Trump requested $740 billion for defense in 2021, exceeding the Cold War average by $200 billion, triple Chinese spending, ten times Russia, $100 billion over the Obama-Biden average. Trump restored Army combat team readiness, met Secretary Mattis’ goal of 80 percent operational readiness for aircraft, ended ISIS, killed top terror leaders, brought the Taliban and Afghanistan to negotiation, reduced likelihood of Mideast deployments by nailing three peace accords between Arab States and Israel, one between Serbia and Kosovo.
Trump fixed Obama-Biden failures in cyberwarfare, satellite survivability, anti-satellite weapons, artificial intelligence, machine learning, strategic missile defense systems, new ballistic missile submarines, hypersonic defenses, and innovations aimed at protecting the Homeland. These are not small matters, nor is the Space Force, as they protect all Americans, and our military.
On veterans, here is the short list. Trump has done more than any president since Ronald Reagan – including game-changing improvements in health care, most innovative since WWII. Media refuses to cover it, but here they are. Making the VA bureaucracy accountable, Trump ended the “wait time” tragedy, insisting veterans get private health care options, raising access and quality. He threw out stop-gap legislation as a smokescreen, doing little for veterans. He cut to the quick, made things real with the “Mission Act.” The mission was, save, serve, and honor veterans.
Want results? Trump’s move – in 15 months – helped 2.4 million veterans get assistance previously denied, created 6.5 million referrals to community care, and new partnerships with 725,000 private care providers – all for vets. Trump’s actions created urgent and walk-in care, opened the door to 360,000 urgent care centers – for vets. Does that matter? Better believe it.
What else? Beyond honoring veterans, Trump made real America’s promise to veterans who sign that “page 2,” giving their life – straight up – to you and me. Trump honored selfless service. That alone is huge. How could it not be? But Trump did more.
As November and Veterans Day approach, let us not forget Trump never forgets our veterans. We must vote – Trump does for veterans what we would all want done for us. What else? Trump opened new education benefits for veterans, loans, scholarships, housing, and other incentives. He signed the “Veterans Benefits and Transition Act,” and “Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act,” together paying for schooling and housing for military vet students. Matter? Ask them – you bet.
Trump then helped homeless vets. Think that matters? Ask a vet – it does. Trump created a program to lift them up, get them on their feet, assure the future. Trump’s “Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program,” reinforced by HUD Secretary Carson’s housing, helps vets get and keep housing. For help, call 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838). Access matters.
Then Trump turned to disabled veterans. Who deserves more? Under Clinton, Bush, and Obama-Biden, disabled veterans lost ground. No more. Under Trump-Pence, comes a new dawn. Benefits are protected from bankruptcy, garnishment, seizure, and bill collection.
What these vets earned – is theirs. Trump codified the commitment to disabled veterans in the “Honoring Americans Veterans in Extreme Need,” (the HAVEN Act). Disabled veterans suddenly got protections Trump assures go to Social Security disability beneficiaries.
So, slow this train down – talk turkey before Thanksgiving. Thanks is due – to active duty, veterans, and Trump. Those in the military and veterans know it. Democrats and media aiming to tarnish Trump’s work should “can it.” Uninformed opinions are not worth their electrons.
That is why other facts – the sort that show disrespect for the military and veterans – are deeply troubling. Military mail-in ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania – were recently discovered in a dumpster. Small number, but majority were for Trump. That cannot happen.
What does all this mean? First, military personnel and veterans are in Trump’s corner. Second, even in small – tightly fought townships – votes matter, and eyes should be wide. Third, most military personnel and veterans know Trump is behind them – and will be for the next four years.
Finally, that you may not have read this data anywhere else – means media are trying hard to keep you from it. Trust your instincts, your love of country, active duty, veterans, and those who care, like Trump and Pence. Vote! If there was ever a time – it is now.
Robert Charles is a former assistant secretary of state for President George W. Bush, former naval intelligence officer and litigator. He served in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses, as congressional counsel for five years, and wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003) and “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), the latter on WWII vets in a Maine town.