I am not criticizing the fact that Walz is not a combat vet. Quite to the contrary, I want him to be proud to admit that his unit served in Italy, rather than trying imply that he served in Afghanistan.
The sign that Walz held at the protest rally was a lie on his part. He is not an Enduring Freedom Veteran. To make this easier to understand, let's use me as an example. When I say that I am an Iraq War Veteran, it is because I am legally entitled to do so. I met the Army's qualifications (30 days boots on the ground inside the combat zone defined for Operation Iraqi Freedom). How do you know that I am telling the truth? Because I have proof-
This memo certifies that SGT David Thul has served the requisite time in Iraq to be awarded the Iraq campaign medal and thus be an Iraq War vet. By Executive Order, the areas that are designated as combat zones for Operation Iraqi Freedom are-
Persian Gulf area: By Executive Order No. 12744, the following locations (and airspace) were designated as a combat zone beginning January 17, 1991.
- The Persian Gulf
- The Red Sea
- The Gulf of Oman
- The part of the Arabian Sea that is north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude
- The Gulf of Aden
- The total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
Afghanistan: By Executive Order No. 13239, Afghanistan (and airspace above) is designated a combat zone beginning September 19, 2001.
Afghanistan or the airspace above it. That's it. Italy is not a combat zone, nor has it been a hostile fire zone since 1999. Congressman Walz is not a veteran of Afghanistan or Enduring Freedom, because either one of those designations require 30 days boots on the ground in Afghanistan.
One last attempt to put this into context. If Congressman Walz is an Operation Enduring Freedom vet because that is what his order stated, than I am an Operation Enduring Freedom vet as well. Here's my proof-
That's right, I too have orders that put me on active duty "in support of OEF". So how did I serve my time? Working at my local Guard Armory. But by Congressman Walz's way of thinking, all you need is orders that say 'in support of Operation Enduring Freedom'.
My point is the silliness of the technicality that Walz's claim is based on. I am not an Afghanistan vet and I would never try to mislead anyone into thinking so. Then again, I wasn't trying to get elected in 2006 when he first started misleading people.