You may recall Gold Star Dad Fred Boenig from his confrontation with "Tehran Tom" Cotton last year. Boenig has three children on active duty and lost one in Iraq.
He also has a message for Donald Trump: Put up or shut up.
Mr. Boenig generously provided the transcript for the video above so I don't have to excerpt it, but I would suggest you watch the video to get the full impact of just how deeply he shames Donald Trump for his reckless statements on national security and the way Trump dismissed Gold Star Dad Khzir Khan.
Transcript below, courtesy of Mr. Boenig:
Good Morning Mr Trump.
Sir my name is Fred John Boenig- in 1959 I was the last case of Polio in Hunterdon County NJ. Since I was 9 months old my left arm has been paralyzed. I’m 58 now Sir, and have accomplished much in my life despite my handicap. I say I’m “HandiCapible”. I grew up in a Military Family- My grand father was in the Navy and was blown off a ship during WWII and survived- My father 20 year in Air National Guard –A step dad also a WWII vet. My brother 82nd Airborne- I’m my family we have 5 children 4 of which have served- Two of the Boys went to Afghanistan , only one came home alive, and after serving two tours in Afghanistan, he was awarded with a Purple Heart after being hit with a grenade- one son served in the Marines in South Korea and Guam and our daughter is in the Naval Reserves.
My oldest son is a Union Roofer and takes care of us at home.
So Sir, you have insulted my family 3 times. The interesting part is I’ve stood within a foot of you 3 times- I sat directly in front of you photographing you as you held up your “Bible” your mother gave you as a Kid – at the Values Voter Summit- I stood next to you on the Capitol lawn when you were getting ready to speak at the Ted Cruz Rally.
Sir- as I pointed out- you feel you have some “Special” right to insult my family-
Sir- let me point out- No one in over 100 years in your family has served in the military-
When your Nation called for it’s bravest to go fight for it- you received 4 deferments and got a “Note” from your “Doctor” saying you had Bone Spurs- How much did that cost? You couldn’t remember which foot or the name of the doctor. Sir, I can name my doctors- I bet most people could name their Family Doctors-
In an interview with The New York Times last month, Mr. Trump said the bone spurs had been “temporary” — a “minor” malady that had not had a meaningful impact on him. He said he had visited a doctor who provided him a letter for draft officials, who granted him the medical exemption. He could not remember the doctor’s name
Now I’m suppose to believe you are “Brave” enough to lead my children in battle? Really Sir- 3 of your children are still eligible to serve- Your two son’s are in your words- “Excellent Shoots” because they have hunted endangered animals. Will you be asking them to enlist? So when you go “Bomb the Shit out of ISIS” they can fight along side our kids when we have to clean up your mess?
You might be thinking- Well Bill Clinton got deferments –Yes, he did and while he was President- he didn’t Start any wars- 1 soldier died in Combat and 75 died in Terrorist attacks- Carter- Reagan-Ford- HW Bush- GW Bush- Obama all had more soldier’s killed in Combat than him- He has the least amount of soldiers killed in actual Combat since Roosevelt as far as I can research.
So you see Sir – I prefer “DOVES with Claws” like the Clintons -to a draft dodging “Fortunate Son” clueless War Hawks like you.
You used our vets to advance your campaign narrative- but had to be “shamed” into paying up.
You have yet to answer even the most basic questions on Foreign Policy, The constitution or our Military with a Factual answer.
So Sir- as a Gold Star Dad- I challenge you to show America you aren’t the “Coward” and “Fraud” we have come to believe you are. In an open forum- show exactly what your “Knowledge Base is on ISIS- Boko Haram- name their leaders -Syria-Russia-China-Indonesia-and Central America”
Point out on a Map the Countries of the Middle East- Name them and their Leaders- Tell us the history of Afghanistan – Who is the current leader of the Taliban- the History of Iran- Explain- the history of the Soviet Union. You see Sir these are the questions anyone running for President of The United States should know off the top of their head.
I asked a Lieutenant Colonel one day that said she was meeting you later that day to ask if you knew the name of the Leader Of ISIS- she said “No I don’t want to embarrass him”
You see Sir we all get you are woefully unprepared for the job of being responsible for our kids.
And lastly Sir- The only “Perk” you get for being a Gold Star Parent is you get to speak your mind and NO ONE gets to trash you for it. That’s the only Perk Sir-and clearly you missed that and you certainly have shown you don’t have what it takes to pay the price for that Perk- 100 years and NO TRUMP has served his country in the military.
And thank you, Mr. Boenig, for your sacrifice and tenacity. We owe you the right not to sacrifice your children in any more horrible wars, and to be respected for the sacrifice you've made.
During his speech at a North Carolina rally, Mr. Trump expressed "regrets" for things he said that "might have caused pain." He read the words from a teleprompter, and they were less than convincing. Perhaps Mr. Boenig will have a response to that. If he does, I will update this post with it.
Update: Indeed, Mr. Boenig DID have a response to Trump's non-apology, which I have included in its entirety below:
Sir, my "Baptist Training" teaches me to Forgive- and Sir I try.
Yet -Your expression of regret sidesteps the core issue of fault; the admission of that, is what an offended individual is seeking- is it not?
So Mr Trump, you haven't actually explained, exactly what you "Regret". Once again you are thinking that because the misinformed people that support you buy your con man double speak, well Sir, I am not misinformed and clearly understand that a Wharton Business School Graduate can speak clearly without having to be interpreted by his surrogates- Sir I'm not a "Top of the Class Wharton Business school graduate- so I sincerely hope I come across clearly- but I'll Try- when you say "I REGRET" it is clearly about you and how it affects you- Not that you are sorry for how it affects the other person- Sir it's not about “choosing the right words”. Clearly the words you chose are what you meant, because they were repeated by you numerous times. You said them and then you repeated them.
The words you say aren't misspoken or not PC. They are insulting, uncompassionate and mean spirited.
Sir, as I have stated previously, you are a coward and a fraud - you have no business endangering our country's security by running for the job of President of the United States when you not only woefully lack the good judgment when under pressure, you don’t have the “Class” to represent our great nation.
You’re supported by people that have bought into your anti-government rhetoric and hate speech. Well, I Sir have not, nor do most honorable and good Americans. Again Sir, I challenge you to speak in an open forum where average Americans can test your knowledge of basic Constitutional issues and foreign policy. Because Sir, a successful Wharton Business School graduate that knows, in your own words “more than the Generals do”, should be able to do that with ease.
So Sir, I hope I was clear- I think you are a Coward and a Fraud, and I don’t believe you understand what the job of President of the United States of America actual entails.
Thank you for your time,
Fred John Boenig - Gold Star Dad