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On this Memorial Day, in addition to honoring the fallen servicemen and women who gave their lives for this country, I will also be thinking about the men in my family who came before me to fight for our country.

  • My great grandfather, who served in the US Navy and fought during World War 1.
  • Both of my grandfathers, who served during World War 2.
  • My father, who was drafted and fought in Vietnam.

Thanks only to fortunate timing, my siblings and I were never called to defend our country and its interests abroad. My brother, Jeremy, joined the Army after high school, and he nearly went overseas during Desert Storm, but operations concluded before he was needed.

By contract, my mother’s father, a 1st Lieutenant in the 63rd infantry, spent 119 days in combat in Germany, and on April 29, 1945, led his troops to liberate the Dachau concentration camps in Landsberg, Germany.

It’s also worth noting on this Memorial Day that Donald Trump avoided the Vietnam draft altogether, as the sons of wealthy and connected men often did. Trump received five draft deferments – four for college and one for alleged bone spurs, which were diagnosed by a podiatrist who rented office space from Fred Trump.

His bone spurs conveniently healed themselves as soon as the war was over.

Giving your life in defense of our nation is one of the greatest sacrifices that a person can make. As I enjoy this day with family and friends, I will be thinking about all of the men and women who died to forge and defend this great country.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.