Donald Trump never served in the U.S. military—thanks in no small part to medical deferments he received during the Vietnam war—but the Republican hopeful says he “always felt” that he was in the military nonetheless because of the five years he spent at an expensive military-themed prep school.
Trump’s latest self-aggrandizement comes via the New York Times, which got an early look at former Newsday reporter Michael D’Antonio’s forthcoming Trump biography, Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success:
[Trump] told the author … that he nevertheless “always felt that I was in the military” because of his education at a military-themed boarding school. …Trump said that his experience at the New York Military Academy, an expensive prep school where his parents had sent him to correct poor behavior, gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” …
Despite sitting out Vietnam because of deferments followed by a high draft lottery number of 356 out of 366, Mr. Trump said that he endured the rigors of real military life. “My number was so incredible and it was a very high draft number. Anyway so I never had to do that, but I felt that I was in the military in the true sense because I dealt with those people,” he told Mr. D’Antonio.
So to recap, in the World of Trump: John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured, but Donald Trump was “in the military in the true sense” because he went to the New York Military Academy.