Many veterans have expressed their pain with regard to Trump, calling the fallen heroes as losers and suckers. One such veteran who was a casket bearer at Dover says that he never thought the President would insult the fallen heroes in this manner. He said that the fallen heroes were selfless people who served the country and not losers or suckers.
The veteran who worked as a casket bearer when he was 19, talks about his experience while he helped carry the fallen service members to their final resting place. He talked about the nervousness during the ceremony, as that was his first flight in a helicopter. Along with the casket team, he was bringing the mortal remains of a soldier killed in combat. He added that the team wanted everything to be done in a perfect manner as the service members deserved nothing less when it comes to their final journey.
The silence was unnerving, he says as everyone was focused on the ceremony, and he happened to be the youngest member of the team. He said that the team even rehearsed their steps many times as there was no room for error. Even though the journey was a short one that lasted for only a minute or so, it felt like the longest walk of his life. Going into the details of the ceremony, he said that the casket team also wears ceremonial white cotton gloves, and they carry the transfer cases that are the rectangular-shaped box used for carrying bodies. He said that it is not a ceremony but a dignified transfer.
As family members may not be attending the event in some cases, everything is handled perfectly by the casket team. Even though that is not considered a ceremony, they ensure that everything is done in a systematic manner, and it is usually well choreographed. They do it with perfection to pay respect to the war heroes. Along with the military dress on the casket, even an American flag will be fastened as a mark of respect to the heroes. He says that he was initially worried about the casket slipping as it was his first time, and they have to follow the steps in an orderly manner and bring the transfer case from the plane and walk down the ramp.
As the casket team walks the ramp, everyone else is saluting, including the OIC, senior NCOs, generals, plane personnel, and even the President if he is at the ceremony. The family may also be present in some cases, but there is no ceremonial music. There is total silence during such events. The transfer cases may weigh around 40-60 pounds extra due to the ice used to prevent decomposition. In some cases, the veteran said that the transfer cases felt very light. He later understood that it was all they could recover from the war heroes.
He says that the event leaves a mixed sense of relief and sobriety. While the casket team feels relaxed that they have done everything perfectly and nothing went wrong during the ceremony, they also feel sad even though they do not express things publicly. The military transfer cases all look the same, wrapped with an American flag, and the names, rank, race, gender, religion, and ethnicity of the heroes are not mentioned. He added that even though lots of politics lead to this situation, there was at least no room for politics during the dignified transfer.
He called the fallen heroes as selfless people who served the country, and he felt honored to carry them during the dignified transfer. Like mortuary specialists, many service members, casket teams, and family liaisons are involved in such events. Everyone works towards ensuring that the transfer is done with the utmost dignity and honor for the heroes. Reacting to the comments of Donald Trump, he said that he was angry beyond words. He called Trump unfit for this office, and he does not deserve to be the President. Such comments are coming from many other veterans after a magazine published Trump’s comments about war heroes.
Trump, on his part, has denied the allegations and termed it as a mudslinging campaign by the opposition considering the timing of the reports. The magazine has quoted anonymous sources while claiming that Trump had made derogatory comments about war heroes and called them losers and suckers. Many people are willing to believe such reports considering the past behavior of Trump and the kind of statements he has made in recent years. The opposition also accuses Trump of using the veterans as property during his events, and he does not have respect for their selfless service.
Even Biden reacted to the comments of Trump on war heroes and said that if Trump had made such comments, it was in bad taste and the war heroes deserve all our respect for their selfless service to the country. On the other hand, supporters of Trump are not willing to trust such reports and said that the reports coming so close to the elections itself says a lot about its credibility. This is nothing but a marketing campaign to malign the image of Trump. It is done to undermine the work he has done for the military personnel in the last few years.
Trump has also reiterated that there is no one who respects the service members like he does, and he has always cared for their safety. He also talked about various measures he took as President to improve the working conditions of service members. Such claims were supported by other members of the White House close to Trump. They said that Trump has always respected the war heroes, and he held them in high regard. However, this report by anonymous veterans has triggered lots of debates about Trump, and it will be interesting to see how this can impact his chances of winning the elections in November. Both parties are keen to utilize such events for their gains and trying to accuse one another whenever they find an opportunity.