Ohio Republican Stays in Race for Congress Amid Scrutiny of Military Service – NBC Los Angeles

todaySeptember 24, 2022 1

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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 stated at a information convention.

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

The Home Republican marketing campaign arm on Thursday cancelled almost $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 lately 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 stated he was a fight veteran who served a tour of obligation beneath “powerful” circumstances in Afghanistan, the place by his account he as soon as went over 40 days with no bathe as a result of a scarcity of operating water.

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

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

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

In addition they gave no indication that he could not talk about his service as a result of it was “categorized,” as Majewski stated.

“I used to be in a number of bases in Afghanistan and the timeframe is obvious, in 2002,” Majewski stated Friday. “We flew out and in of the world of duty a number of occasions. It’s virtually unattainable for me to let you know the place I used to be and on what day. That’s why my orders are listed as a categorized location.”

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

“It was hardly a secret that we have been working in Afghanistan,” stated Don Christensen, a retired colonel and former navy choose who as soon as served because the Air Power’s chief prosecutor. “It might 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 more than likely. That individual would know if this was true.”

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

“Is it potential he went on some night time flight to Afghanistan to drop off provides? Sure it’s potential,” stated Taylor, who was injured 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 stated the dialogue about whether or not he did or didn’t enter Afghanistan additionally obscures the broader image: Majewski for months has introduced himself as a fight veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, descriptors that point out he got here beneath hostile fireplace 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 beneath the legal guidelines and rules of the U.S. authorities, going through stay fireplace 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, international locations used as fight help areas as fight zones regardless of the low danger of American service members ever going through hostilities. That helped veterans obtain a positive tax standing. Qatar, which is now residence to the biggest U.S. air base within the Center East, was among the many international locations that acquired the designation beneath Bush’s govt order — a standing that continues to be in impact immediately.

Majewski’s marketing campaign beforehand stated 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 information state he has not acquired a fight medal.

“Everyone performs a task. However it’s a must to be pleased with what your contribution was and never attempt to step on another person’s,” stated 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 handle 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. Nevertheless, 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 reveals him in Afghanistan. The image, which can be on his marketing campaign web site, reveals a gaggle in fatigues who’re inside what seems to be a shelter, however doesn’t embrace any indicators of the place it was taken.

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