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Veteran gives Purple Heart to Trump

A military veteran presented Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech 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 ClintonJimmy and Rosalynn Carter encourage people to take COVID-19 vaccine Harris taps women of color for key senior staff positions Obama, Bush and Clinton say they'll get vaccine publicly to prove safety MORE, Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE’s husband, wrote to an Army ROTC officer in 1969 to thank him for “saving me from the draft,” the Times reported.