October 26, 2014 - Backstage before a debate between the two main candidates vying for Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House, the moderator joked with John Lewis, the Democrat, asking whether he had brought his guitar to perform.
The Republican, Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, chimed in with his own brand of humor.
"John plays guitar," he said. "I waterboard people."
The comment was simply a joke, Zinke said in an email, though he acknowledged that waterboarding was part of his training. Still, the remark captures how he has tried to frame the race: a tough, decorated Navy officer versus a Washington, D.C., errand boy.
As military experience has become rarer, politicians who've served have elevated it to the top of their biographies. Zinke, one of four dozen Iraq or Afghanistan veterans running for the House or Senate, has gone further than most, making it the centerpiece of his campaign. read more>>>
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>>>
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!