Monday, May 24, 2010

Stealing Valor

While Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has apologized for his shameful claims of serving in Vietnam, it still continues to draw my ire.....

I proudly serve in the Army National Guard. I joined over 5 years ago, commissioned 3 years ago, and have never been deployed. The left side of my chest has only 3 items on (that is where citations are on Army uniforms) and I only wear one badge, all of which I have earned. I can think of nothing more disrespectful to both myself and to my fellow Soldiers than to wear anything on my uniform that I did not earn and was entitled to. To do anything less is a stain on your honor.

I actually have more tolerance of people who have never served claiming honors, rank and experience that is not due to them. They do not know better. They do not know the sacrifice of time, blood and, in some cases, life that are the price people wearing the uniform pay. It pains me enormously when it is someone who has in fact served and claims any experience or honors that are not their own.

So AG Blumenthal strikes me as the lowest form of scum, who took something that he should be proud of, his military service (even with his deferments he did in fact serve) of this country at a time where it was not a popular thing. (I talk with my Dad on occasion of his service, and of his time when he was in NYC working for the Navy, where the sailors had to keep their uniforms at work for pure force protection purposes.) This was something he should have been proud of, a bond into a brotherhood of military men, a body of men and women who do in fact stand above those who have not served.

But that was all shattered with his claims of serving in Vietnam. It is ironic that now that it is socially palatable to be a Vietnam Vet, people who have not served there find it acceptable to steal some of that shine for themselves.

I must be somewhat old fashioned in that I expect leaders to be striving for the ideal and be held to greater standard than the rest of us. I truly hope that the people of Connecticut hold their own leadership to that standard, by repudiating and not electing this "man" who stole valor from his military brothers.