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Yeah, I think this vet choose exactly the right term: It's cheesy of Scott Brown to pretend his two weeks in Afghanistan are on a par with National Guard members who served a full tour of duty:
WASHINGTON -- The man who inspired Sen. Scott Brown to write a bill making it illegal to falsely claim military honors said he thinks the Massachusetts Republican is stretching the truth when he claims to have "served in Afghanistan."Brown made the Afghanistan declaration in his recent debate with his Democratic opponent for the Senate seat, Elizabeth Warren.
But Brown's service in Afghanistan was not combat. It was part of his annual two-week stint with the National Guard, in which he requested, in a highly unusual move, to serve in Afghanistan.
"It sounds to me like we just got another Blumenthal Connecticut, Mark Kirk type things there," said Vietnam veteran Doug Sterner, referring to exaggerated military claims two years ago by now-Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)"I thought it was seriously misleading," said Sterner, whose website outing heroes was the basis for Brown's "Stolen Valor" bill. Sterner's criticism echoes a Boston Globe editorial published Thursday morning.
"I think it does go to an issue of personal character and that concerns me," added Sterner, who earlier this year broke with Brown and has endorsed Warren.
Sterner said it wasn't that Brown's service was with the National Guard that's the problem. Scores of Guard members have been recipients of the Medal of Honor, he noted. Brown's mistake, he said, was implying that his service in Afghanistan was a real tour of duty.
"I would be the last person to denigrate anybody's National Guard service, but I thought the claim, putting himself on par with men and women who have done combat tours, often in excess of a year, 14 months, was a pretty cheesy thing to do," Sterner said.
He allowed that Brown can legitimately claim spending time in Afghanistan. But he said he also thought it broke the spirit of what Brown tried to with the Stolen Valor Act, which Brown himself said was aimed at stopping people from benefiting by swiping the real glory from others.