Skip to comments.American Legion Commander's Vietnam Vet Credentials Questioned; Morin Served in N.J.
Posted on 12/03/2006 2:59:56 PM PST by T-Bird45
The national commander of the American Legion never served in Vietnam although he describes himself as a "Vietnam veteran," a newspaper reported Sunday.
Paul A. Morin, who was elected Aug. 31 to a one-year term as commander of the nation's largest veterans organization, spent his time in the Army from 1972 to 1974 at Fort Dix, N.J., The Boston Sunday Globe reported.
Neither the federal government nor the 2.7 million-member American Legion makes a formal distinction between veterans who served in Vietnam and those known as "Vietnam-era" veterans.
"I am a Vietnam veteran," Morin, of Chicopee in western Massachusetts, told the newspaper. His biography on the Legion's Web site also describes Morin as a "Vietnam veteran of the US Army."
The Legion's top spokesman, Joe March, backed Morin's position. He said any current service member stationed in the United States at present could claim to be an Iraq war veteran.
But former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia said Morin's claim may undercut the credibility of veterans groups that fight for Congressional funding of veterans' programs.
"For the national commander of the American Legion, who never even served in the Vietnam theater, to call himself a Vietnam veteran is a lie," said Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm during combat in Vietnam, and who has been a Legion member since 1969.
Thomas G. Kelley, the Massachusetts secretary of veterans affairs and also a Vietnam veteran, said Morin is misleading people.
"When someone says he is a Vietnam veteran, it means he served in the theater of the war," Kelley said.
Before his national campaign, Morin was a ranking member of the Legion's state office and was described on its Web site as a Vietnam-era veteran who was stationed in New Jersey.
Morin is the superintendent of the Soldier's Home, a state-run facility in Holyoke for needy veterans. He took an unpaid leave to serve as leader of the American Legion.
Morin did not return two calls from The Associated Press seeking additional comment Sunday. March, the Legion's spokesman, also did not return a call Sunday.
An article about a lie with another lie in it. Cleland was not injured in combat. Just because a person is in a combat area does not mean all injuries in that area are combat injuries. If a person gets bit by a snake in a combat area is that a combat injury?
Viet Nam ERA Veteran. He is of the Era.... I guess he must be a liberal:)
The old adage concerning stones and glass houses still applies no matter how much we despise the messenger. The real question is why would he change from a correct term that was used when running for the office to another term that is not correct in most people's understanding of "Vietnam veteran" being that of been there, done that.
Holy crap. This is big.
Cleland was injured, if I recall correctly, while drinking a beer and playing with a grenade. Hardly combat.
I agree that the Cleland reference and quotation is absolutely out of place in this matter because Cleland's injuries arose from a non-combat incident.
Cleland is a Vietnam Veteran. . . period.
This is not about combat or non-combat injuries, it's about Vietnam Veteran or Vietnam era Veteran.
Max, you're a shill who will whore his words to suit the cause.
Take Kerry to task for "two tours" in Vietnam.
I have a Purple Heart from that war...and mine came at the hands of the enemy...not during a beer driking session and fooling around with a grenade. There is a difference!
That the rumor, but his story is:
While boarding a huey, a hand grenade slipped off his vest, the pin fell out, and it went off.
Either way, I ask "What was a PIO (public Info Officer, Clielands position at the time) doing with hand grenades"? I mean, a PIO guides reporters around. If he needs hand grenades, he and they are too close to the action.
Hell, when my troops and I went into a base camp for a week or 2, we took all the grenades, extra clips of ammo, and stored them in a secure place.
You'll never see the DBM media write a story about how the military suffers injury or death just training, training so they'll be ready when needed.
"Cafateria patriotism" picking and choosing what you want to support as long as it fits their cause pisses me off.
He's the one that fragged himself by accident isn't he?
One of my late husbands was a Vietnam-era veteran. He would never have called himself a Vietnam vet, nor would I ever refer to him as one. There's a world of difference.
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