Arlington cemetery dead remind Trump Jr of his father's 'sacrifices'

Image source, Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr has been mocked for comparing the plight of fallen US soldiers to the business "sacrifices" made by his family.

In his new book, the eldest son of the US president says the thought occurred to him during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery in 2017.

US veterans and the families of soldiers killed in combat have accused Mr Trump of not showing proper respect.

Neither Mr Trump nor any of his children have served in the military.

In his new book Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, Mr Trump Jr describes visiting the US war cemetery where 400,000 ex-soldiers lie outside of Washington DC on the eve of his father's inauguration.

His moment of reflection came as the president-elect laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns.

"As we drove past the rows of white grave markers, in the gravity of the moment, I had a deep sense of the importance of the presidency and a love of our country, " wrote Mr Trump Jr, 41.

Media caption,
Donald Trump Jr recently clashed with guests in a TV talk show

"In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we'd already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we'd have to make to help my father succeed - voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were 'profiting off of the office.'"

He later adds: "Frankly, it was a big sacrifice, costing us millions and millions of dollars annually. Of course, we didn't get any credit whatsoever from the mainstream media, which now does not surprise me at all."

'Soup sandwich'

Arizona Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego, who fought in Iraq, responded on Twitter: "Eight men I served with are buried in Section 60 of Arlington".

"I visit them monthly. Even if Donald Jr lived a 1,000 years, he will never even get close to being as good and honourable as they were."

Image source, Getty Images

Author and former US Army Captain Matt Gallagher wrote: "Imagine going to Arlington... and being moved to think about money."

"You are a soup sandwich, @DonaldJTrumpJr, and my friends buried there would tell you the same thing," he added, using a military slang term for something nonsensical.

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In response to an article posted on the Twitter account of military newspaper Stars and Stripes, several people said their veteran relatives buried at Arlington cemetery would resent his comparison.

"I think my father, who died in WWII aged 23 and lies at the bottom of the sea with his crew, might be a bit offended by this," wrote one woman.

Mr Trump's remarks were revealed in US media days before the book's official release. It also comes one day after President Trump was ordered by a judge to pay $2m (£1.6m) for using funds from his charity to pay for his campaign, rather than US veterans.

Media caption,
Trump and the US military: Friends or foe?

Others, including Robert Maguire of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington pointed out that Mr Trump and his family continued to profit from their hotel and real estate empire, despite their claim of "sacrifice".

President Trump has been criticised for getting a doctor to diagnose him with bone spurs allowing him to avoid military service during the Vietnam War.

In the 1990s Mr Trump called his effort to avoid sexually transmitted infections on the New York dating scene "my own personal Vietnam".

"It's pretty dangerous out there," he said in 1993 interview with irreverent talk-show host Howard Stern.

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