Leftist Senator Sherrod Brown, running neck and neck for reelection in Ohio against Marine Josh Mandel, has discovered a new kind of veteran – the “strategic veteran” who has fought in the trenches of Congress and been under fire in the bloody Battle of the Beltway.
The “strategic veteran” is a bit different from the other, old-fashioned kind of veteran. You know, the kind of veteran who actually is a veteran instead of a poser who desperately wants to wrap himself in a cloak of “service” to salvage his fading campaign.
But that isn’t stopping this non-hacker from trashing Mandel’s service, which includes two tours in Iraq. And, shockingly, he has help from someone who ought to be standing by a brother-in-arms.
In a news conference at Ohio Democratic Party headquarters, retired Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich said he was appalled by Mandel’s portrayal of Brown as un-American during a joint appearance last week before The Dispatch’s editorial board.
Laich said Brown is better-suited for the Senate as “the experienced veteran in the wars on Capitol Hill.”
“The fact of the matter is, Josh Mandel has served in the military — we applaud that,” Laich said as he stood with about a dozen veterans organized by the Brown campaign.
“The manning we’re trying to do today is not in Iraq or Afghanistan at the tactical level — it’s at the national strategic level, where Sherrod Brown is the veteran.”
Appalling, but not surprising.
Army MG (Retired) Laich has carved out a shabby niche as the go-to guy for liberal groups needing cover from a guy with a couple stars. He’s a member of the liberal Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and made a show of publicly dropping out of the American Legion over the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy initiated by Democrat Bill Clinton.
He’s also a reliable source when it comes to spewing nonsense. Check out this unbelievable slander that he put forth – to our enemies – in al Jazeera:
US army retired Major General Dennis Laich says he would see a soldier get four or five years for selling a minor amount of drugs. Then he would see a soldier get two weeks extra duty for rape.
This says more about the units that MG (Retired) Laich commanded – he proudly claims he spent the last 14 years of his career in command positions – than it does about the Army.
Speaking solely for myself, I refuse to allow an organization I love to be trashed. In my 25 years of Army service – including extensive command time and, like MG (Retired) Laich, graduation from the Army War College – I never saw or heard of anything remotely like this, nor would I have sat back and tolerated it if I did.
And I never would I have ever made such a sickening claim in front of some foreign propaganda outfit that is cozy with those killing our deployed brothers. Again, if true, this reflects on MG (Retired) Laich as a leader, not the Army that trusted him as an officer to prevent such alleged outrages.
It’s shameful. But it is part and parcel of the same mindset that spawned the ridiculous notion that serving in Congress is the same as serving in the military in uniform. Senator Brown ought to apologize and repudiate the false claim that he is a veteran of anything more than a thousand rubber chicken dinners.
For his part, Devil Dog Josh Mandel is fighting back, with the help of his real life battle buddies. Semper Fi, real veterans. No one has to make up a bogus new term like “strategic veterans” to describe you. We already have one that works – “heroes.”
The idea that wrangling lobbyists, attending power lunches and sitting in committee meetings carried the same weight as dodging bullets, scarfing MREs in fighting positions and spending months or years in hostile fire zones is beyond offensive. To allow someone to falsely claim veteran status for you even though you’ve never had combat boots on your dogs is a disgrace.
Military service usually demonstrates a certain level of personal character and integrity. It is often a way for voters to tell whom they can trust, and who deserves a certain measure of respect. But, sadly, it does not always do so.