From The Oppo File…Trump Dumped Vets For Reserve Duty

From Trump’s near-bursting opposition files. It’s like the X-files but not as compelling. This is from 1988.

The most litigious presidential candidate ever settled at least three lawsuits brought by veterans who sued because Trump’s companies fired, or refused to hire them because of military reserve time commitments. With Trump, it’s do as I say, not as I do, and “believe me,” we’re going to take care of our veterans.

A digested version from HuffPo:

According to [orders he submitted to his bosses at Eastern, U.S. Air Force Col. Charles] Beattie was to attend the elite Industrial College of the Armed Forces for nine months, starting in August. As required by law, Eastern Airlines granted Beattie a leave of absence to fulfill his military service commitment.

While Beattie was deployed to the Industrial College, a high-flying Donald Trump, just 42 years old, bought Eastern Air for $365 million.

As part of the deal Trump signed with Eastern for the shuttle service, Trump was required to offer employment to all Eastern personnel. All told, Trump Shuttle hired around 200 pilots from Eastern Air. But it did not hire Beattie.

Beattie had applied for a job with Trump Shuttle, like the rest of his fellow Eastern pilots, but his orders from the Army college required that he stay until June to complete his assignment. For his would-be bosses at Trump Shuttle, that was a deal-breaker.

Trump’s lawyers tried to parse words, claiming that Beattie was passed over because he was “unavailable” and his attendance at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces was “voluntary.” Now anyone familiar with military orders knows that once you have them, they’re hardly voluntary. Of course, it was a voluntary act for Col. Beattie to apply for the school, but all of that happened well before Trump bought Eastern.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Flannery didn’t buy that argument. Citing 38 U.S.C. § 2021:

The plain language of § 2021(b) (3) quickly disposes of Trump’s argument that the VRRA protects only Beattie’s right to reinstatement. Section 2021(b) (3) clearly provides protection against discrimination to any reservist “who seeks or holds” an employment position. 38 U.S.C. § 2021(b) (3) (emphasis added). The provision also provides that a reservist “shall not be denied hiring, retention in employment, or any promotion …” Id. (emphasis added). Clearly, § 2021(b) (3) prohibits discrimination based upon reserve obligations against the first-time job applicant as well as against the employee seeking to return to his or her previous position.

The main reason Trump fought so hard against hiring Col. Beattie is because the Trump Shuttle insisted that all pilots be available to start work on Feb. 1., 1989, according to the HuffPo report. Of course, Beattie was on orders at the time and could not report. Trump’s business needs therefore trumped (pun intended) his commitment to veterans.

Trump’s lawyers noted (and the Court agreed) that other pilots employed with the Trump Shuttle were reservists. But they were able to comply with the company’s requirement without compromising their military service.

HuffPo reported earlier of two other cases where an Air Force senior master sergeant and a U.S. Army staff sergeant were fired from Trump businesses in 2007. All three instances resulted in Trump settling with the complainants. Beattie’s case was settled with a consent judgment in 1991. He passed away in 2014.

Granted, a man like Trump, who has hired tens of thousands (according to himself) over the years he’s been in business, will have these kinds of issues from time to time. But these are just the ones resulting in lawsuits. How many more instances were there where the fired/passed over person simply walked away?

The fish stinks at the head. Trump’s companies don’t care about taking care of veterans, they care about taking care of business. They think that way because Trump thinks that way. He only gave $1 million to veterans because the Washington Post held his feet to the fire. He only settled those cases because those vets brought him to court.

Trump’s talk about taking care of veterans is just that: Empty talk.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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