Home Candidate Says He Served in Afghanistan, however Air Power Has No File of It

House Candidate Says He Served in Afghanistan, but Air Force Has No Record of It

2022-09-23 00:05:55

J.R. Majewski, a Republican Home candidate in northern Ohio, has continuously promoted himself as a fight veteran who served in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults, however the U.S. Air Power has no report that he served there, unraveling a central narrative of his political ascension that has been heralded by former President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Majewski, 42, was deployed for six months in 2002 to Qatar, the Persian Gulf nation that’s now dwelling to the biggest U.S. air base within the Center East, in response to Air Power data obtained by The Instances.

The Related Press reported earlier about Mr. Majewski’s misrepresentations of his army service, noting that he labored as a “passenger operations specialist” whereas he in Qatar, serving to to load and unload planes. Along with Air Power data, it used data that it had obtained by way of a public data request from the Nationwide Archives however that was not instantly accessible on Thursday.

Melissa Pelletier, a marketing campaign spokeswoman for Mr. Majewski, didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark. In an announcement to The A.P., Mr. Majewski didn’t straight handle the inconsistencies, saying that his accomplishments had been below assault.

“I’m proud to have served my nation,” Mr. Majewski stated within the assertion.

The inconsistencies in Mr. Majewski’s public accounts of his army service introduced renewed scrutiny to a candidate who had already been going through questions on his presence on the U.S. Capitol on the day of the Jan. 6 siege and sympathies for the QAnon conspiracy motion.

In response to questions from The Instances, Rose M. Riley, an Air Power spokeswoman, stated on Thursday that there was no manner for the army department to confirm whether or not Mr. Majewski served in Afghanistan throughout his time in Qatar. Air Power data confirmed that Mr. Majewski acquired no commendations or medals that might sometimes have been be related to fight service in Afghanistan, although she acknowledged that the record “could also be incomplete or not updated as a result of some require motion on the member’s half to submit or validate.”

The position detailed in Mr. Majewski’s army data contrasted sharply along with his repeated claims on social media and right-wing podcasts that he was deployed to Afghanistan.

Within the quick aftermath of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan final yr, Mr. Majewski chided President Biden over the chaotic exit of forces there, saying in a tweet, “I’d gladly swimsuit up and return to Afghanistan tonight and provides my finest to save lots of these People who had been deserted.”

He additionally talked about Afghanistan throughout a February 2021 look on a podcast platform that has drawn scrutiny for selling conspiracy theories and misinformation.

“I misplaced my grandmother once I was in Afghanistan, and I didn’t get to see her funeral,” he stated.

The top of a outstanding veterans’ advocacy group criticized Mr. Majewski in an interview on Wednesday, saying that his embellishment of his army report dishonored veterans who did expertise fight.

“To me, that’s stolen valor,” stated Don Christensen, a retired Air Power colonel and president of Shield Our Defenders. “I’ve a lot respect for the individuals who had been truly getting shot at, affected by I.E.D.s, being wounded and killed. I simply suppose you owe them that you just’re going to be trustworthy in what you say and that you just’re not going to attempt to equate your service to their service.”

Mr. Christensen, 61, served for 23 years within the Air Power in a noncombat position. He stated there was a transparent distinction between Qatar and Afghanistan or Iraq.

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“Qatar, for many of people that had been in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the place you went for R&R,” he stated, noting that the army saved a “morale tent” in Qatar for service members to name members of the family.

“They had been saying, oh, my God, that is so unbelievable — the web, someplace to eat,” Mr. Christensen stated of service members coming back from fight to Qatar.

In Might, Mr. Majewski emerged as the shock winner of a Republican Home main election in northern Ohio, the place redistricting has emboldened the celebration because it tries to flip the seat held by longtime Consultant Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat, in November.

Ms. Kaptur, a member of the Home Veterans’ Affairs Committee, stated in an announcement on Wednesday that Mr. Majewski had misled voters.

“The reality issues,” Ms. Kaptur stated. “The concept that anybody, a lot much less a candidate for the USA Congress, would mislead voters about their service in fight is an affront to each man and lady who has proudly worn the uniform of our nice nation.”

Mr. Majewski first gained consideration in Ohio in 2020 by turning his garden into a 19,000-square-foot “Trump 2020” signal.

Throughout his main marketing campaign earlier this yr, he ran an advert exhibiting himself carrying an assault-style rifle and saying: “I’m prepared to do no matter it takes to return this nation again to its former glory. And if I’ve acquired to kick down doorways, properly, that’s simply what patriots do.”

Days after Mr. Majewski defeated two different Republicans within the main, Mr. Trump praised him throughout a rally in Pennsylvania.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump didn’t reply to a request for remark about Mr. Majewski’s army report.

Mr. Trump has zeroed in army data to assault a sitting member of Congress: Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut. He continuously highlights Mr. Blumenthal’s first marketing campaign for the Senate in 2010, when he was accused of misrepresenting his army service in the course of the Vietnam Struggle.

Mr. Blumenthal was a Marine Corps reservist however didn’t enter fight. He stated on the time the he by no means meant to create the impression that he was a fight veteran and apologized.

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