A Republican lawmaker who’s serving as chairman of Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign in Washington state is being scrutinized over his alleged military background. State Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting) posted an Iraq war photo in May of 2014 to his Facebook page which shows two U.S. soldiers kneeling while in desert combat uniforms, while consoling each other. It’s a dramatic photo, which shows the tragedy of war and what our troops go through overseas.
There’s just one problem with the photo.
“This picture of me was taken after a mortar attack in 2005,” the post said. “Background has been modified, but I think combat camera captured the moment pretty well. I surely have not forgotten that moment.”
Hunt is not in that photo.
The Seattle Times reports:
The image was a doctored version of a 2003 Associated Press photo of two military policemen from Ohio during a deployment near Baghdad.
Here it is:
The photo was removed months later with Hunt blaming a ‘campaign volunteer’ for posting it.
It gets worse. On top of the doctored image, which is totally not Hunt, he listed three medals on his official and campaign biographies that a military personnel center has no record of him receiving.
Hunt has described himself as having been “wounded in combat” but grows vague when asked for details. He said he was knocked down by explosions but cannot remember where. He also says he cannot remember the names of units he deployed with to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hunt was one of two Washington state lawmakers who visited the armed militants who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. If Hunt didn’t serve in the capacity he has stated, then he’s in good company at the refuge where at least two cases of Stolen Valor have been revealed. But, at least Hunt did serve in the military but he can’t seem to recall the details of where, when, etc.
Raw Story reports:
The lawmaker deleted references last month to the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal after the newspaper questioned him about the awards — which military officials say do not appear on his service record.
He also stopped describing himself in the online biographies as a “combat veteran” of Iraq and Afghanistan.
His bio now states that he served in the Air Force for nearly 10 years of, “tours of duty in several countries, including multiple tours to the Middle East” and that he has received “several military honors, including the Air Force Achievement Medal.”
“Honestly, I don’t even care to list any honors or awards I have received, because frankly I don’t think they are that important to the public in the first place,” Hunt said, after scrubbing details of his military background from his bio.
Hunt did serve in the military.
Hunt received an Air Force Achievement Medal for his service in 2002 and 2003 at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, where he worked as a security guard, a post which consisted of searching vehicles and local workers “in extreme heat and austere conditions.”
There are no records regarding him receiving the Iraq or Afghanistan Campaign medals, however, a spokesperson for the personnel center said records may not be up to date if a veteran fails to submit documentation of medals.
Records show that Hunt was deployed overseas, including at a classified location, but there’s no record he ever served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Hunt said he hopes to locate records further documenting his military service. “I just need time,” but added that he’s not sure he would be able to find them.
He said, “I know where I was. I know what I did. I don’t need it validated.”
Then why is he deleting his bio? We’re just asking.