Veteran gives Purple Heart to Trump

A military veteran presented Donald TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE with his Purple Heart ahead of his Tuesday rally in Virginia.

Trump, the Republican Party's presidential nominee, identified the man as a lieutenant colonel. The Purple Heart is a military award given to someone who is wounded or killed while serving. 

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“Man, that's big stuff,” Trump said. 

“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart — this was much easier. I'll tell you, it was such an honor.”

Trump opened the rally by taking out the medal and telling the crowd in Ashburn, Va., that “something very nice just happened to me.”

He said that when he asked the man if it was a real award or a copy, the man confirmed it was his real Purple Heart medal.

“That's my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you,’” the man replied, according to Trump. 

But NBC News's Katy Tur reported that the man told her before the rally that the award was a copy, not in fact the real one. 

The exchange comes as Trump continues to face a firestorm about his criticism of the parents of a fallen Muslim soldier who spoke out against him during the Democratic National Convention. 

The controversy has drawn further scrutiny to Trump’s history with the military draft.

The New York Times on Monday reported that Trump received five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War. One was a medical deferment for heel spurs, and four were educational deferments. 

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonRepublican spin on Biden is off the mark Bill Clinton shares video update after release from hospital Biden, Democrats risk everything unless they follow the Clinton pivot (they won't) MORE, Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE’s husband, wrote to an Army ROTC officer in 1969 to thank him for “saving me from the draft,” the Times reported.