False Valor


This writer served in a Marine Corps Rifle Company IN Viet Nam for nearly a year and a half.  He was never “decorated,” just did his job as ordered and returned home to start a new life.  ‘Nuff said.

Richard Blumenthal struck a raw nerve with thousands of Viet Nam veterans by “misspeaking” a number of times about his imagined service “in” Viet Nam.  Oddly enough, a number of news stories over the years had also placed him “in” Viet Nam, and he never bothered to correct the record.  He appeared at a news conference apologizing for unintentionally misleading the public and proffering the excuse that he had not seen the news stories.  Now think about this for a moment: A high level elected official for over 20 years does not avidly read and save each and every news clipping about HIM that is spotted and collected by his staff and many supporters?  That belies the imagination.

He frequents the headquarters of the local VFW chapter. Is he a member? If so, he obviously got in by lying about his service since VFW members have to present a copy of their DD-214 Form proving participation in an overseas combat zone. How’d he pull that off – and when will they kick his butt out?

During the Viet Nam war, reserve forces were seldom if ever used in combat. It was well known at the time that if one could join the reserves of any branch, they would serve their military obligation in the comfort of their home state and not be shipped south with a rifle and some C rations for a year. Dan Quayle was pilloried for being a reservist as was George W. Bush. Naturally the reserves had waiting lists of young men who desired to avoid being drafted, but wanted to preserve their political viability for the future. We can be pretty certain that joining the Marine Corps Reserve took a bit more perseverance than opening a phone book on a lark and being put on a bus to Parris Island.

The book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Viet Nam War, in a footnoted statement revealed that fewer than 3 million actually went to Viet Nam during the war, but nearly 12 million state so on census forms. I do not know where these figures came from, but I have met a number of BS-ers and crackpots over the years whose stories fall apart real quick when quizzed up on details by one who was actually there.

In this age of warped moral relativism, it seems lying is acceptable behavior. It was not so 45 years ago when millions of us answered our nation’s call to serve and face the imminent dangers of a hot war. Blumenthal’s blithe excuses backed up by a bunch of effeminate hugs among him and some “useful idiots” (and God, it hurts me to see honorable Marine veterans being used like that) was nothing but Kabuki theatre aimed solely at saving his pathetic behind for an upcoming election.

I have deep respect for anyone who has proven his merit by graduating from Marine Corps Recruit Training and worn the uniform proudly until honorably discharged. I also admire Blumenthal’s record of being strong on veterans’ issues. However it is very hard to accept the apparent intentional embellishment of a decent record into a false, misleading, and fictional intimation of imagined valor.

If the citizens of Connecticut have any sense of decency, Blumenthal should be political toast. Let us hope so.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by CM Mowbray on May 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    These guys live in a bubble created by their aspirations, and reinforced daily by the sycophants surrounding them. They become insulated from reality and their constituents, thinking a persuasive sound-bite is more important than the truth.

    Notice how he touched his heart as he stated “since the days that I served in Viet Nam”.

    I’m glad someone popped his bubble.

    Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback. This episode just sort of pushed me over the edge and I had to address it. The few who served were despised by the many who did not. Now it seems those who stayed out very much want us to beleive they got in. Turn the clock back 40 years, and 5 bucks says they would do the same thing again. They would be waving signs in the streets supported on daddy’s money while we would be enjoying lead showers in a rice paddy.

      OIJ

      Reply

  2. Posted by Melissa on May 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I just finished reading a history book discussing why historians, such as Doris K. Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose and Joseph Ellis, lie and plagiarize. The discussion on Ellis was illuminating and rather poignant. The author’s contention was that Ellis, who wrote about George Washington, John Adams, etc., might have felt insignificant in comparison to these great men, and thus felt the need to embelish his credentials. The Viet Nam war was the defining moment of our generation, and here Ellis had missed out on it. The author also remarked on how Ellis’ historical writing got better the more he exaggerated his own wartime experiences. Ellis admitted what he did, and accepted quite a bit of punishment from his college and colleagues. This doesn’t excuse what he did, but makes it a little more understandable.

    Reply

    • Hi Melissa:
      Thank you for your interest and support. What is the name of that book? I devour the things and am on first name terms with Amazon.com. Just finished Power Hungry and am starting on The Real George Washington. I can get the one you just read in the pipeline. Sounds interesting.

      Thanks again,

      OIJ

      Reply

  3. He maybe a good guy but he’s got some serious truth issues dogging him now.. Not only does it appear that he lied about being in Nam, it also appears that he lied about being the captain of the Harvard swim team (Records show he wasn’t on the team) I’d say he’s just about done

    Reply

    • “1. Integrity: The stakes of combat are too high to gamble leadership on a dishonest man. Would you accept a report from a patrol leader who had been known to lie? Of course you wouldn’t. All your statements, official or unofficial, are considered by your men to be plain unadorned FACT. Make sure they are.”
      Quote from Marine Corps Leadership chapter in Guidebook for Marines. Undoubtedly Mr Blumenthal has forgotten what Sergeant Blumenthall was taught as a young NCO. This November, a lot of liars will be looking for new jobs. No sense electing a new one.

      Reply

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