Was Donald Trump ever in the military

Young Donald Trump was an avid athlete, playing squash, tennis, football and golf. He was in excellent health until he was 22 years old. When he was supposed to be called up for military service in 1968 - US soldiers had been fighting in Vietnam for four years - he was freed. Diagnosis: heel spur.

The story has been known for a long time, but is particularly topical for the US media. Trump's bony outgrowth on the foot that can cause pain when walking is that New York Times worth a big story, other US media also pick up on Trump's medical history. The Republican presidential candidate is not innocent of that.

Trump has been criticized for days for insulting the Muslim parents of a soldier who died in the Iraq war. The two had appeared at the Democratic nomination convention. In a moving speech, the father, Khizr Khan, spoke about his dead son Humayun. In 2004, during the Iraq war, he stood in the way of a car laden with explosives, thereby saving the lives of many other US soldiers. His son gave his life to save his comrades. Trump himself had "sacrificed nothing and nobody," said Khizr Khan.

Trump reacted - to the annoyance of leading Republicans - thin-skinned and insensitive: he had "made a lot of sacrifices," he said in an interview with television station ABC. He has "created thousands of jobs and great structures. I have had tremendous success."

The matter with the "victims" threatens to burden Trump in the election campaign. The New York Times took the comment as an opportunity to take another look at how and why Trump escaped military service back in 1968.

Memory gaps for medical treatment

The exemption because of the heel spur was therefore not the first to be granted to the then 22-year-old. Trump had already received four temporary exemptions from studying, which was not uncommon. He studied economics, first at the New York private university Fordham, then at the renowned Wharton School of the University of Philadelphia.

He played squash, football and tennis at Fordham and golf at Wharton. His father enrolled him at the New York Military Academy when he was 13 years old because of behavior problems. There he also had to complete military exercises. A biography quotes him as saying that the exercises there were harder than the real military.

Of course, the fact that the young Trump was a good athlete doesn't mean that he couldn't have suddenly injured himself. But there are other details that make the heel spur story at least sound strange.