May 18th, 2010
01:43 AM ET

Allegations about Blumenthal's military service rock race

A New York Times story alleging that Democratic candidate Richard Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam added fuel to a contentious Connecticut senate race Tuesday.

Blumenthal's campaign criticized the story as an "outrageous distortion," while political opponents demanded answers.

"The New York Times story is an outrageous distortion of Dick Blumenthal's record of service," campaign manager Mindy Myers said. "Unlike many of his peers, Dick Blumenthal voluntarily joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1970 and served for six months in Parris Island, SC and six years in the
reserves. He received no special treatment from anyone."

The New York Times story says Blumenthal, who is currently Connecticut's attorney general, never served in Vietnam but said he did in several speeches before veterans groups and military families. The story also claims that it appears that Blumenthal did nothing to correct numerous media profiles that
described him as a Vietnam veteran.

Reached by phone Monday night, Blumenthal told a reporter that he had always said he was a "Vietnam-era" veteran, and that his intention was always to be straightforward about his military service, according to an article published on the website of the Greenwich Time, a newspaper in Connecticut.

"I've always said that I've served in the Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam era. If I said anything otherwise on very rare occasions, I may have misspoken," he said.

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soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Ken Andrews

    This is tragic, but I want to remind those who would over-react, that for every combat soldier who fought in WW II, there were 14 others who worked in support of that soldier. The number was similar during Vietnam (which, by the way was a "police action" and not "officially" a war). And, yes I did serve from '68-70. Every veteran is a precious piece in the mosaic of freedom that we call America.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Morgan Shnier

    Let's not forget, Blumenthal's prime opponent is Linda McMahon, who is responsible for horrible mistreatment of wrestlers in the WWE. I mean, I don't keep track of wrestling, but I've heard that story arcs that Mrs. McMahon has allowed in the WWE include forcing a wrestler to portray a drug abuser when he himself was publicly facing substance abuse issues, having other characters ridicule a female wrestler's weight to the point that she had a nervous breakdown, firing a female wrestler when she became pregnant, and so forth.

    Clearly horrible actions and inadequate political experience are a lot worse than a slip of the tongue regarding Vietnam service.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. yesmaam

    hey boo, our military isn't perfect by any means, but we do what we can to the best of our collective abilities. mistakes are made, sure enough, but we are more or less free. if yoiu don't like it, bye bye. find another 'free' country to complain about.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. mos11c10

    If your in CT, vote for Linda.....For those that are not aware of the draft days, the truth is you had 'To Know Someone' to get in the reserves. It was another way to avoid going to Vietnam. So, when 'Mindy' uses the words, "Unlike many of his peers" she did him more harm than good.

    May 18, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Voter

    . . . this "overstating" one's military experience has to stop ... its insulting
    ... if these pols want to put on a baseball cap and claim that they're the biggest fan of a specific team – OK, we know its BS
    ... but claiming you went to Nam, when you didn't ... its insulting ... and it should preclude this guy from running for office

    May 18, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    I must say, this is another case of someone who is a career politician who lied and should not be elected to this special office of U. S. Senate. I will not vote for this idiot who thinks he can say anything to get elected. I served in Vietnam 70-71. This guy is a baffoon!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Glenn Tolle

    "Vietnam-era Veteran" - while this is technically correct, borrows valor from the thousands who were courageous enough to step into their country's fight. Nice ring to it-sticking "Vietnam" and "Veteran" together with a little hyphenated "era" stuck in there, ay?

    May 18, 2010 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dick Head

    Anyone who calls 5 deferrments nNOT SPECIAL TREATMENT is skewed

    May 18, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. ivnprt

    Just what the congress needs – A PX soldier !

    May 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael Blum


    The Marine Corps League categorically disassociates itself from any comments made by a person who spoke at a press conference today in defense of Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal and referred to himself as a member of the Marine Corps League several times, giving the impression that his statements were representative of the Marine Corps League’s position on the matter.

    The National Bylaws of the Marine Corps League clearly state, in part: “The Marine Corps League shall never take part in any labor or management dispute or issue, and it shall be ever non-sectarian, non-political, and non-partisan; nor shall it be used as a medium of political ambition or preferment”.

    Whether or not the politician misspoke or distorted his military background is a matter for the citizens of his state to decide. The Marine Corps League has not authorized any of its members to make a public statement on this issue in that doing so would violate our covenants.

    -National Executive Director

    May 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
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