And this being the perpetual liar/misinformer Donald Trump, the fact-checkers are doing their patriotic fact-checking duty:
- Politifact - Trump said:
"We just got you a big pay raise, first time in 10 years. We got you a big pay increase, first time in over 10 years. I fought for you. That was the hardest one to get."
- New York Times - Trump said:
And very soon, we are going to get to 355 beautiful ships. That is almost a couple of hundred more ships
That’s flat wrong, which is why we rated a similar statement Pants on Fire. In fact, the last time that service members didn’t receive an annual pay increase was in 1983 (and that was only because of a one-time technical quirk).
The increase of 2.4 percent in 2018 represented the biggest bump since 2010. But there have been increases every year since then, ranging from 1 percent to 2.1 percent. For 2019, the White House is proposing a 2.6 percent increase; the bill to enact that pay raise is working its way through Congress.
Other than 1983, you have to go back to 1961 to find a calendar year without a military pay increase, which suggests that the increase wasn't so hard to get.
In 2016, the United States Navy had 275 active ships in its fleet. Mr. Trump’s plans to increase that number to 355 would amount to just 80 more.
Seventy-five years ago this summer, [LTCD Bruce Voorhis] was in the South Pacific commanding Bombing Squadron 102 during the battle of the Solomon Islands. That was a rough battle. His only brother had been killed and the Bataan Death March. On July 6, Bruce volunteered for a mission to destroy a crucial enemy base. It was a rough time. It was a rough, tough situation. He knew full-well that he would likely never return. He knew he was going to die. But he also knew his daring action could prevent a surprise attack on large-scale American forces.For his bravery, he was posthumously promoted to Commander and given the Medal of Honor.
So, his plane took off alone on a 700-mile flight. Bruce flew through the darkness to his target, a tiny speck on the vast open sea. He braved unrelenting anti-aircraft fire, like nobody had ever seen at that time, and a trail of enemy planes to single-handedly destroy this large enemy base, including multiple fortifications, and a critical communications link. And in this final act of valor, Bruce was caught in the blast of one of his own bombs and perished in a remote lagoon very far from here. His life was lost, but his legacy will live forever.
So what did the liar-in-chief get wrong? Reread the paragraphs above again and note the terms "alone" and "single-handedly." It would be safe to infer that he was flying alone, right? That he "single-handedly" did all that stuff.
That would have been difficult for one man to do all that stuff piloting, as he was, a B-24 (specifically a PB4Y-1 Patrol Bomber). Did you know that there were ten other men on that plane? For their bravery and valor, the co-pilot was awarded the Navy Flying Cross and the rest of the crew the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Doesn't their bravery deserve a mention?