A military veteran on Tuesday gifted Donald Trump with a Purple Heart medal, the nation's most esteemed award given to service personnel wounded or killed in combat.
“Something very nice just happened to me. A man came up to me and he handed me his Purple Heart. Now, I said to him, 'Is that, like, the real one, or is that a copy?'
“And he said, 'That's my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.'
“And I said, 'Man, that's like big stuff. I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier,'” Trump said.
The Republican presidential nominee then invited the supporter, whom he identified as Lt. Col. Lewis Dorfman, to the stage for a round of applause.
Trump shakes hands with Dorfman.
Evan Vucci / AP
Trump received five deferments to avoid service during the Vietnam War, one for bone spurs in his heels and four for pursuing his education, the New York Times reported Monday.
Tuesday's gesture came after days of controversy for the GOP nominee, who sparked the ire of veterans groups and fellow Republicans for publicly criticizing the family of a dead Muslim American soldier who spoke at the Democratic National Convention.
President Obama also said Tuesday that Trump's attacks on the family of Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004, showed he was “unfit” to serve in the Oval Office.