Vietnam Veterans of America 'chagrined' Trump won't let McCain 'rest in peace'

Vietnam Veterans of America 'chagrined' Trump won't let McCain 'rest in peace'

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) asked President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE to let the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain: It's 'breaking my heart' Warren is leading Biden in the polls The Hill's 12:30 Report: Video depicting Trump killing media, critics draws backlash Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics MORE (R-Ariz.) "rest in peace" in a statement on Thursday.

“We are chagrined by the President’s inability to let a fellow Vietnam veteran rest in peace,” VVA National President John Rowan wrote in the letter. “Mr. Trump, it’s time to move on. Help us heal our Nation and honor those who have served and sacrificed.”

The letter does not mention McCain by name. It notes the timing of Trump's criticism ahead of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29.


Beginning with a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump has repeatedly attacked the late Arizona senator over the last few days. Most recently, during a speech in Lima, Ohio, he bemoaned that he did not “get a thank you” for approving McCain’s funeral. 

McCain, who died of brain cancer last August, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. In 1967, his jet was shot down and he spent the next 5 1/2 years in captivity as a prisoner of war.

Trump and McCain clashed often while the late senator was alive. In 2015, during his presidential campaign, Trump mocked McCain for being captured during the war. 

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

The VVA letter goes on to address individuals who avoided the draft during the Vietnam War, a possible reference to Trump's deferment from service for bone spurs.

"We have forgiven those who received educational and medical deferments from serving in the war," the letter states. "And we are greatly saddened by the President’s inability to let a Vietnam War hero rest in peace."