Ohio Republican stays in campaign amid scrutiny of service | WIVT

todaySeptember 23, 2022 1

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HOLLAND, Ohio (AP) — Republican J.R. Majewski insisted Friday that he would keep within the race for a aggressive northwest Ohio congressional seat after The Related Press reported earlier this week that he misrepresented key components of his Air Power service.

“I flew into fight zones typically, particularly in Afghanistan, and I served my nation proud,” Majewski mentioned at a information convention.

The feedback got here amid rising fallout for Majewski, who repeatedly mentioned he deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 assaults, however as a substitute served a six-month stint loading and unloading planes whereas primarily based in Qatar, based on data obtained by the AP by a public data request.

The Home Republican marketing campaign arm on Thursday cancelled practically $1 million in promoting that it had deliberate to spend on Majewski’s behalf, an indication that the GOP was successfully giving up hope of unseating longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in a district that was not too long ago redrawn to favor Republicans. In the meantime, advocates for veterans questioned why Majewski has declined to supply proof, and even describe forays he made into Afghanistan.

All through his marketing campaign, Majewski has repeatedly mentioned he was a fight veteran who served a tour of responsibility underneath “robust” circumstances in Afghanistan, the place by his account he as soon as went over 40 days and not using a bathe as a result of a scarcity of working water.

His newest remarks amounted to a far much less strong description of what he says he did within the nation. Majewski beforehand mentioned he was deployed to the nation, a time period which refers to orders assigning servicemembers to a particular base or location.

On Friday he mentioned his service concerned flying out and in of Afghanistan from Qatar, however declined to supply further particulars or proof as a result of he mentioned it was “labeled.”

Whereas primarily based in Qatar, Majewski would land at different air bases to switch navy passengers, medics and provides, his marketing campaign beforehand mentioned. The marketing campaign didn’t reply repeated and direct questions from the AP earlier than the story was printed Wednesday about whether or not he was ever in Afghanistan.

Additionally they gave no indication that he couldn’t talk about his service as a result of it was “labeled,” as Majewski mentioned.

“I used to be in a number of bases in Afghanistan and the time-frame is evident, in 2002,” Majewski mentioned Friday. “We flew out and in of the realm of duty a number of occasions. It’s nearly unimaginable for me to inform you the place I used to be and on what day. That’s why my orders are listed as a labeled location.”

Consultants contacted by the AP say it’s attainable that Majewski could have entered the nation. Additionally they say Majewski is effectively positioned to show it, although Majewski’s marketing campaign declined to take action Friday.

“It was hardly a secret that we had been working in Afghanistan,” mentioned Don Christensen, a retired colonel and former navy decide who as soon as served because the Air Power’s chief prosecutor. “It could be fairly straightforward for him to discover a supervisor or coworker that would confirm if he was really there. His (enlisted efficiency report) would have been signed by his supervisor probably. That particular person would know if this was true.”

Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL sniper and Republican who represented Virginia in Congress, mentioned he doesn’t perceive why Majewski’s marketing campaign refused to clarify whether or not or not he ever went to Afghanistan earlier this week.

“Is it attainable he went on some night time flight to Afghanistan to drop off provides? Sure it’s attainable,” mentioned Taylor, who was wounded in a fight operation in Ramadi, Iraq, and needed to be evacuated. “However once more, he ought to have answered these questions immediately.”

The consultants mentioned the dialogue about whether or not he did or didn’t enter Afghanistan additionally obscures the broader image: Majewski for months has offered himself as a fight veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, descriptors that point out he got here underneath hostile hearth whereas stationed within the nation.

The time period “fight veteran” can evoke pictures of troopers storming a beachhead or discovering refuge throughout a firefight. However underneath the legal guidelines and rules of the U.S. authorities, dealing with stay hearth has little to do with somebody incomes the title.

In the course of the Persian Gulf Struggle, then-President George H.W. Bush designated, for the primary time, nations used as fight help areas as fight zones regardless of the low threat of American service members ever dealing with hostilities. That helped veterans obtain a positive tax standing. Qatar, which is now house to the biggest U.S. air base within the Center East, was among the many nations that obtained the designation underneath Bush’s government order — a standing that continues to be in impact right this moment.

Majewski’s marketing campaign beforehand mentioned he calls himself a fight veteran as a result of the place he operated out of — Qatar — is acknowledged as a fight zone. His navy data state he has not obtained a fight medal.

“Everyone performs a job. However it’s important to be pleased with what your contribution was and never attempt to step on another person’s,” mentioned Taylor, the previous congressman and Navy SEAL. “Barring him giving some proof and submitting a petition to get a fight ribbon, he’s not a fight veteran.”

Majewski’s marketing campaign has launched a number of paperwork on social media that they are saying both again up his claims or refute elements of the AP’s story. None of them deal with whether or not or not he was in Afghanistan.

One doc from February 2003, when he was nonetheless enlisted within the Air Power, indicated Majewski was eligible to reenlist. Nonetheless, the AP reported that when Majewski was discharged a number of months later, his paperwork indicated he was “thought-about however not chosen for reenlistment.”

He additionally claimed that he offered the AP with an image that exhibits him in Afghanistan. The image, which can also be on his marketing campaign web site, exhibits a gaggle in fatigues who’re inside what seems to be a shelter, however doesn’t embody any indicators of the place it was taken.

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