"Critics weigh Blumenthal's words
Neil Vigdor, Staff Writer
Published: 11:29 p.m., Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back & to all kinds of disrespect. Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support."
The occasion was the Stamford Veterans Days parade: Nov. 9, 2008.
The speaker was Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, as quoted by The Advocate.
A trove of potential bulletin board material was unearthed Tuesday by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers from its archives quoting the once seemingly unflappable U.S. Senate candidate on his military record, one that he has been accused of embellishing.
During a May 18, 2009, military board tribute to veterans in Shelton, Blumenthal was quoted by the Connecticut Post as saying, "When we returned from Vietnam, I remember the taunts, the verbal and even physical abuse we encountered."
A year later at a Stratford Memorial Day event covered by the Post, Blumenthal dropped the "we" reference but didn't go out of his way to say that he never went to Vietnam.
"I am called general all the time in my role, but the highest rank I will ever have in life is as a sergeant in the United States Marines," said Blumenthal, who went on to comment how tough it was for veterans of the unpopular conflict to return to "taunts and jeers."
Blumenthal's critics claim that the Democrat's veiled references to serving in Vietnam, which the candidate himself qualified as rare and unintentional misstatements but now number at least five, establish a pattern of duplicity that calls his credibility into question.
"At one point I wanted to go up to him a couple of years ago and say, 'Hey Dick, you're giving the impression you were on the battlefield," said former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., "I thought that might come back to bite him." ....................."