Ret. Lieutenant General hammers Trump's 'off-kilter' and 'insulting' Thanksgiving address to the troops
Retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling (Photo: screen capture)

CNN military analysis Ret. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling on Thursday reacted to Donald Trump’s self-aggrandizing Thanksgiving address to U.S. troops, calling the president’s remarks “somewhat insulting,” and arguing the only thing military personnel want to hear during the holiday is “thank you.”

“Thanksgiving is a very unique day for the military,” Hertling explained.. “If you're deployed, you come together with your fellow service members in that deployed situation and what normally happens is commanders go and serve the meal to their soldiers to show the thanks for them for what they're doing. If you're not deployed you get dressed up, everyone gets dressed up, goes to the mess hall, the dining facility and they, again, have the commanders and the senior ranking NCO’s serve their soldiers.”

“First of all, I’m thankful for the fact that he did address the soldiers,” Hertling said. “But the message that I heard and some of the things he said would have not rung very well with me had I been a deployed soldier.”

The president insisted the military was “winning” thanks to the steps his administration has taken, but Hertling argued, “we have been winning.”

“You're talking to soldiers and military personnel around the world who have been in this fight for 17 years and to suddenly be told they're winning now when they weren't winning before is somewhat insulting, first of all. And secondly, the comments about the economy and where the economy is growing—deployed service members don't want to hear about that. They want to hear, ‘Hey, thanks, for what you're doing.’”

“They just want to know and let other people know what they're fighting for, and what they’re serving for, is each other, first of all, and for the oath that they took to defend the Constitution,” Hertling later added. “So again, trying to be positive, I’m glad the president at least took some time to say thank you to the troops around the world, and he's going to a Coast Guard station today, but the rest of the message may have been a little off-kilter.”