Early in his campaign, Donald Trump declared that Sen. John McCain isn’t a real war hero “because he was captured.” He then smirked and glibly added:
‘I like people who weren’t captured.
Now, those words are coming back to haunt him in the unlikely form of a frail WWII veteran named Joel Sollender. Donald Trump wouldn’t like this elderly man because of the fact that he, too, “was captured” by Nazi German soldiers back in 1944.
A powerful, gut-wrenching video shows this U.S. Army Vet and POW reacting to footage from Donald Trump’s fateful interview at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
“I was in World War II in the European theater after knocking out a bunker with a grenade,” Joel Sollender bravely shares in a steady, gravelly voice. What was being a prisoner of war like? A never-ending dank, shivering nightmare broken only with bouts of torture.
‘It was mainly hunger, and cold, and worrying whether the Germans were going to hurt us again.’
An angry Joel Sollender then declares that by insulting John McCain’s military service, Donald Trump had insulted all POWs and the entire U.S. military.
“Apart from the outrage of the insult to prisoners of war, he insulted all of our military.’
POWs like Joel Sollender and John McCain are “lucky” only in the fact that — unlike so many who remain missing — they lived to return to our country and their loved ones. One could argue that although these returned POWs didn’t sacrifice their lives, they may have given nearly as much of themselves. A research paper from the American Journal of Psychiatry states that PTSD symptoms in aging veterans and POW survivors like McCain and Sollender often resurface in old age after decades of decline.
Reporting from a veterans memorial service in May 2015 at Miramar National Cemetary in San Diego where Joel Sollender gave a speech, Fox 5 adds that Joel Sollender was decorated with a Bronze Star Medal.
‘Guest speaker Joel D. Sollender of Poway, fought as a platoon scout with Patton’s 3rd Army on the Siegfried Line in northern France. He was taken prisoner by a German Army tank crew during the Lorraine Campaign, and held for four months until liberated by Russian troops. Realizing that the Russians were holding him hostage, he managed a perilous escape across hostile territory to American lines. For his bravery, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.’
Joel Sollender’s voice begins to quaver as his eyes tear up at the thought of Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S.
‘My war is 70 years ago and yesterday. he’s everything I would not want to be or emulate. And I would hope we would not adulate a man like him And put him into the most precious office in this country.’
Along with the short video, Clinton’s campaign tweeted:
The brave men and women who have served our country deserve better than Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/SmLmTrVhOr
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2016
Yes, this video was produced by the Hillary Clinton campaign. That doesn’t make it any less powerful. The fact that Joel Sollender feels strongly enough about preventing Donald Trump from winning the presidency that he’s willing to relive these memories should tell us all something.
Featured image: video screengrab/Hillary Clinton campaign