President Donald Trump leaves a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.
President Donald Trump leaves a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House Friday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President denies reports corroborated by multiple outlets.

When news broke Thursday that President Donald Trump had referred to members of the military killed in combat as “losers” and “suckers,” Army veteran David Boetcher of Waunakee thought Trump’s comments were pretty much par for the course.

“Three years ago I would have been shocked,” said Boetcher, who served in the Gulf War and was deployed to Iraq. “I was stunned by how he acted and what he said about John McCain when he died. I’m not stunned anymore, just disappointed.”

Trump did not attend McCain’s funeral and lowered the White House flag to half-staff after mounting criticism of how he was responding to McCain’s death in August of 2018.

Boetcher, 57, retired 10 years ago from the Wisconsin National Guard. He works as an electrician and is a Waunakee School Board member. 

“He’s got a track record, now,” Boetcher told UpNorthNews Tuesday. “It is still incredibly disappointing. You can feel how you feel about the military. The fact you are that mean-spirited about it just takes it to a whole new level.”

Boetcher is not the only Wisconsin veteran speaking out against Trump’s recently detailed words and actions documented in The Atlantic magazine article. Other media outlets have confirmed details of the in-depth story.  On Saturday, Trump called on Fox News to fire its reporter whose sources corroborated parts of The Atlantic story. 

Randy Hoelzen, an Army combat veteran who lives in West Salem, said he is disgusted by President Trump’s reported actions and comments. 

“I am so tired of the narcissism of this president who cannot comprehend why our soldiers are willing to make life changing and sometimes life ending sacrifices in the service of our country,” Hoelzen said in a statement. “His words are inexcusable for a commander in chief. If President Trump is looking to describe a ‘loser,’ he should look in the mirror.”

Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign rally in Wilmington, Delaware, Monday took aim at Trump’s comments. Biden’s deceased son Beau served in Iraq and was a member of the Delaware Army National Guard. 

“President Trump has demonstrated that he has no sense of service, no loyalty to any cause other than himself,” said Biden during his speech in Delaware. “If I have the honor of being the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know that I’ll have their backs, honor their sacrifice, and those that have been injured will be in military parades.” 

Gary Hawley, a Coast Guard veteran from Stevens Point, said the “damning report makes clear that  Donald Trump does not respect or understand military service.”

“The brave men and women in uniform who lost their lives serving this country are certainly no ‘losers’ or ‘suckers,’ they’re American heroes” Hawley said.  “As the father of a service member, Joe Biden knows personally just how shameful and offensive these comments are from President Trump.”