Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Refrains From Treating His Heroic Military Service as a Campaign Gimmick

Seth Moulton underplays military service
October 18, 2014 - The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

In 2003 and 2004, during weeks-long battles with Iraqi insurgents, then-Lieutenant Moulton “fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire” while leading his platoon during pitched battles for control of Nasiriyah and Najaf south of Baghdad, according to citations for the medals that the Globe requested from the campaign.

The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

Moulton, who is facing off against Republican Richard Tisei in the Sixth Congressional District race, has been so close-mouthed about the medals that in his campaign, only his campaign manager – a former Marine – knew of the awards before the Globe asked for the citations on Wednesday. Even his parents did not know, and were told just this week, according to Scott Ferson, a campaign spokesman. read more>>>

10/20/14 Veteran reporter exposes candidate’s secret: Valor
Rachel Maddow reports on the humility of congressional candidate Seth Moulton, who was so modest about his highly honored military service that he didn’t even tell his parents, and has refrained from treating his service as a campaign gimmick.

Captain America
October 20, 2014 - This is the most remarkable story of the midterm cycle, and I can't tell it to you without talking about the man who told the story in the first place. Walter Robinson of the Boston Globe is one of those investigative reporters whose names you do not want to see on your call sheet when you come back from lunch. Robinson is also a Vietnam veteran, and one of the conspicuous bugs in his ear are people who embroider their military records for political purposes.

(Full Disclosure: as it happens, when I was a young reporter at the Boston Phoenix, there was this fresh-faced millionnaire named John Lakian who was on his way to self-financing the Republican nomination for governor. Walter caught him making up his service and that was the end of him. Lakian sued and I got called as a witness to how widely Lakian had been peddling his bullshit, and because my earlier piece for the Phoenix had intimated that something was hinky about this guy. I hated being a witness, by the way. Avoid it if you can.)

Anyway, there's this guy named Seth Moulton, who is running for Congress as the Democratic candidate from the Sixth District up here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) Moulton already has done our republic great good service by ending the career of Democratic incumbent John Tierney by squashing Tierney in the primary. read more>>>

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