I served 29 years in the United States Army. I am in awe of Gold Star Families and even more in awe of their sons and daughters who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. I have been to Arlington Cemetery and participated in military funerals for our fallen heroes. I personally know Gold Star Families.

That being said I must beg the question to both political parties why they have used these families in their attempts to win the Presidency?  The Republicans did it with Pat Smith and her son, Foreign Service Officer and Navy Seal Sean Smith,who was killed heroically in Benghazi. Then the Democrats doubled down with Mr. Khizr Khan, and his son, Captain Humayun Khan, who died heroically in Iraq.  These families have suffered terrible grief. They also have points of view on things political as they relate to their personal sacrifices.  But with all respect to both families they should not have been put in prime time, at the conventions, to speak against the other party’s candidate. Once they did that they they politicized their Gold Star status.

To Pat Smith and Khizr Khan I thank you for raising such brave American men who did their duties regardless of personal danger. Those two men are what the American Military is all about. They were there to defend us from all evil and harm. They did so fearlessly and courageously. They are in a special place in Heaven.

The problem with Mr. Trump is that he is a political novice. He is like a high school baseball pitcher trying to strike out Adrian Gonzales, he is in way over his head.  Donald Trump is in the position Hillary Clinton would be in if she were now trying to win a construction bid on a huge development project having never done anything like that before. She would be lost, she would be stepping in it all over the place, and she would not win the project.  Remarkably, and maybe it is a testament to just how unattractive Hillary is to the voters, Donald Trump is still holding his own….. in spite of himself!

Donald Trump is a business person. In his short political life he has been using the the only techniques he knows to win… business techniques.  These skills have worked  for him for fifty years, and he does them as naturally as an athlete might perform his or her skills in their sport. He uses power moves, intimidation, insult, and tough talk, to name a few. In business you never let a competitor bad mouth you without defending yourself and also doubling down. Failure to do this means you lose out and the other guy gets the win and the project.  Donald Trump is now in the political arena and he is behaving from instinct….someone hits him…he hits back harder.

We have seen his style displayed continually through the primaries. I have  been hoping he would become more Presidential, which is to say more politically savvy, gracious, and calm. It just is not happening. I do think if he wins the Presidency we will see him develop these skills, but in the mean time the lack of them may be his undoing.  Sadly he does not seem willing to listen to the very good advisors he has hired to help him.  If he would just listen to people like Mike Huckabee he could avoid making more mistakes. Will he do it? Can he do it?  We will know in November.

I have only one thing to say regarding Mr. Khan’s comment declaring that if Donald Trump had been President his son would not have even been allowed to come to America. When did he come to America? Many years ago, well before jihad terrorism, 911, and all the recent attacks both here, and in Europe, by radicals posing as political refugees. Lets be honest Mr. Khan, Donald Trump is calling for a ban on letting Muslim, and all refugees, from these areas of conflict into our country until we know we can verify who they are, and where they came from. This looks to me like tough, honest, leadership and not prejudice.  I am sure the leaders of Germany and France had wished they had done the same sooner.  Mr. Khan and Mrs.Smith, I thank you for the bravery of your sons and I stand with you in your loss. God Bless you and your family.