Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory has a problem with Scott Brown’s claim to have “served” in Afghanistan:
Served in Afghanistan? Scott Brown?
Yes, technically, Scott Brown is right. He is a longtime member of the Army National Guard, and as a United States senator, in the summer of 2011, he requested that his annual two weeks of guard training be done in Afghanistan, where he would be located “in the rear with the gear,” according to one analyst at the time.
So Scott Brown “served” in Afghanistan. For less than two weeks. Let’s be honest, it was more like a visit.
His rise through the Guard is something that should earn him respect and appreciation, yet that’s not quite enough for him. He had to stretch reality, to try to put himself on the same plane as thousands of other guardsmen and women who have been called to active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Problem is, he’s not.
This sounds familiar somehow. Where else have I heard somebody speak out against bad people — con artists, really — who misrepresent their military service?
I know, it was on a Scott Brown radio ad.
“Hello, this is Scott Brown. The Supreme Court recently struck down a law that made it a crime to misrepresent your military service. The Court said, lying about medals and military service is protected by the First Amendment.
“Maybe so, but it’s still cowardly and wrong. Con artists who claim for themselves distinctions and awards they don’t deserve should be held accountable. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard, I feel strongly about protecting the honor of our military men and women.
“That’s why I am working on a new law that will punish military liars and cheats in a way that satisfies the Court’s concerns. No one should be able to pose as someone they’re not to get benefits they don’t deserve. And no one should steal the valor of true heroes who fight to defend our freedoms around the world.”
That was Scott Brown and he approved that message.
(Note: original radio ad linked to the “Brown for [Massachusetts] Senator” website. That link is no longer available, so I substituted a link to a contemporary newspaper story describing the ad. June 3, 2014)