What is wrong with these politicians who lie about their military service or lack thereof? This is simply the most ridiculous thing to lie about. Anyone can do a paper trail on a military record. We can tap into the service records of people who served 150 years ago, and further  back than that.  What makes these guys think they are something special and won’t get caught?

If you are running for or are in office, there’s a good chance you have at least one political enemy. That’s all it really takes. Assume you live in a gold fish bowl. That means no running around, no womanizing, no tawdry little affairs, no love children, no videos, no lying about service records.

To date, we have 2 service liars: Illinois Senate hopeful Mark Kirk and Connecticut Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal. One republican and one democrat. Why? What part of these men’s psyches allow them to lie about such a thing.  Desert Storm and Vietnam aren’t that far in the past.








Voters will have to ask themselves if they want a senator who would lie about his military record.  It might seem unimportant now, but in the long run, it seems like a real barometer of one’s general character.

12 Thoughts to “Fake Military Creds?”

  1. Wolverine

    As a genealogist I beg to differ here. You can get pre-1914 military service records from the National Archives simply by filling out a form and sending in the fee. Any official military service records after 1914, however, require a special form signed by the veteran himself or his closest next of kin if the veteran is deceased. They don’t just hand out official service records to anyone who asks. Unless they’ve changed the rules lately behind my back, I believe you cannot get even World War II service records without the permission of the vet or his next of kin. If you don’t want to go to the Archives, you can sometimes find bits and pieces on the web such as recipients of major medals for valor and some historical reporting and personal memories put out by former members of a particular unit on their dedicated websites. For my old ship, for example, you can find every campaign and ribbon awarded to her from WWII through Vietnam and match it up to an individual veteran’s record of service on her if you have correct dates. Otherwise you have to hunt through old letters, talk to people who know or knew the vet, read published unit histories, check out papers like the Stars and Stripes, and, in general, do a real research project. But you will never get the whole picture on an individual without that official service record.

    Blumenthal pulled a major gaffe by claiming he was in a combat zone when he was not. Kirk I really don’t understand. From what I can see in the news reports, his actual military record is sufficient to make a nice, albeit not overly glamorous, package for campaign purposes. There was no need to puff it up, especially when your opponent has no service record at all.

  2. I stand corrected. I guess I was the next of kin when I have done it. Let’s put it this way, I didn’t have to do anything but put a check mark. I didn’t have to pull out a pedigree.

    Just out of curiosity, how come we know so much about John Kerry, including copies of his service medal applications?

    Blimenthal wasn’t even in Vietnam was he?

    I guess it is easier to be a rat than I thought. Maybe the feds need to make records of service more accessible or at least the part that ways you were or weren’t some where.

    When I can get records on a southern great great grandfather and not on someone running for senator of a state, something is bass-awkwards.

  3. Captain Idiot-Face

    As a conservative, it pains me to do this, but Jan Brewer is guilty, too. She has said her father died fighting the Nazis. No, not quite. Her father served, but died in the 50s IIRC. Hasn’t gotten too much attention, but it’s still fantasy-world stuff, and it’s never OK.

  4. Bear

    Difficult or Easy today’s politicians forget that there is a internet and video cameras(if they ever knew).You can’t do Tammany Hall politics anymore. Even “Fix News” forget what they say from day to day and they have the videos.

  5. Captain, good point. I left her out but she exaggerated also. And you are right about it being wrong and its big of you to bring it up. (meant sincerely)

    Bear is right. There is just too much sunshine out there for these things to not come back to bite people on the butt.

  6. Old Vet

    I get leery when a candidate starts pushing their military record. Millions of people have these records, and most quickly shuffle them off to the farthest reaches of their mind. But for politicians, mentioning military service shows they are a modern day Andrew Jackson even if they don’t puff things up.

    Everyone wants to be a hero these days. “I was a JAG officer in the reserves, so I am a hero.” or “I’m a veteran of South West Asia.”, forgetting to disclose the fact that they flew out from CONUS on a 30 day TDY. Mission Accomplished, they earned some medals and a nice bullet for their resume.

    And to voters, such service should be a minor highlight in the over all package. I admire McCain for his military heroics, but I couldn’t vote for him as President. Kerry lost many veterans votes because of his actions after military service, not because of alleged award rule malfunctions.

    In WWII nearly everyone was a true hero. Korean vets were as quickly forgotten as their war. In Vietnam, soldiers developed an acronym: REMF. And in today’s military there is a word that is frequently uttered for all this stuff we see in today’s politics. POGUE.

    A DD-214 and two bucks might buy you a cup of coffee if you aren’t picky. Listing military service on an employment app will almost always get you placed on the employers Do Not Call list. But for some reason, political candidates think such service is a road to riches. Maybe the advisers they need to ask about that aren’t in their outer office, but down at the local VFW.

  7. Wolverine

    I would cut Jan Brewer some slack on this one. If her Dad died from lung disease caught because of exposure to toxic chemical fumes in a World War II naval munitions plant, I say he did die because he took part in the battle against the Nazis and the Japanese. He probably died a lingering and very painful death over a number of years precisely because of his wartime work. Moreover, I’ll bet that there are large numbers of both men and women whose hard and patriotic work in the war effort probably brought them to an early demise. Imagine those who built the ships for the US Navy, including the one on which I sailed. Those WWII ships were loaded with asbestos because of the need for a fire retardant. I wonder how many of those workers died after the war because of that exposure during the war? I served on one of those ships twenty years later and am advised to tell my doctor as a precaution about serving on a ship loaded with asbestos. Wars do not kill just by bullets and bombs. And patriots are not found only on the battlefield.

  8. George S. Harris

    Stolen valor is a crime as far as I am concerned–no matter how trivial. Depending on the context, Governor Brewer’s statement could be an attempt to stand in her father’s shadow. It seems to me that some politicians or wannabe politicians will go to almost any length to prove they are “all American”.

    Old Vet has some valid points but I would disagree that being a veteran is detrimental when it comes to jobs. Must have had some bad experiences getting a job. Most places I know welcome vets and the federal government gives you extra credit for being a vet and more for being a disabled vet. When people ask me about military service, I tell them it is the advanced course in citizenship. I wonder if Old Vet would classify me as a REMF since I commanded and worked in a medical unit. I saw plenty of death and maiming–more than I ever care to remember. But I am very proud of my some 14,240+ days serving my country and I know a couple of other folks on here who feel the same way.

  9. George S. Harris

    You’re absolutely right . I don’t know the context of Governor Brewer’s comment but if it was done to make her look “all American”, then it was wrong–she can brag about her Dad, but not bask in what he did. But I would agree that there were thousands of folks who never heard a shot fired in anger who served just as much as those of us who wore a uniform.

  10. George S. Harris

    employment at a wartime munitions factory.

    Here’s Brewer’s original full quote, in which she’s referring to criticism she’s taken over her state’s controversial new immigration law.

    “Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lose him when I was 11 because of that…and then to have them call me Hitler’s daughter. It hurts. It’s ugliness beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. “I am fairly devastated by this, for what it’s worth,” Brewer told the Guardian on Wednesday.

    It just may be a bit of a stretch–typical political “spin” that smacks ever so slightly of an attempt to take credit for something someone else did. Maybe not Stolen Valor, but puffery might fit.

  11. Puffery…somehow it gets toned down when she is speaking of her father rather than saying she did something she didn’t do. She probably mispoke. I am certain her father did fight the Nazis. He just didn’t die while doing it. He might have died as a result of having fought them.

  12. C’mon Moon. He was not in the military, but Brewer tried to make it appear that he was died in combat and then that was supposed to give her some sort of “creds”. Many of those of us who did wear a uniform are willing to say that folks who worked in defense industries were “fighting the enemy”, but just how far can you stretch that? Did Brewer’s father smoke? Was there a family history of lung cancer? Her claim smells. Read her comment again–please.

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