The confusion over Congressman Walz's military record was not limited to 2006 when he first ran for Congress. Just last year, the StarTribune called Walz an Iraq War veteran in an article about the upcoming election.
Sarvi is now the third Iraq veteran running for Congress in Minnesota as a Democrat this fall: The other two are Ashwin Madia, the endorsed DFL candidate in the Third District, and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, who represents the state's First District. StarTribune May 3rd, 2008
A few days later, the Strib corrected the error and made another one at the same time. Rather than calling Walz an Iraq War vet, they called him an Afghanistan War vet-
A story on Page B4 last Sunday incorrectly described Democratic Rep. Tim Walz's military service. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Afghanistan war, during which he served in Italy providing supply-line security.
In June of 2007, Jon Soltz, the co-founder of the organization VoteVets mistook Walz for an Afghanistan vet when he talked about the success of vets in the last election-
Last year, with your help, VoteVets.org made history. Because of your support, four candidates who served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were elected to Congress with high hopes, and they have not disappointed. Congressmen Patrick Murphy, Joe Sestak, Tim Walz, and Chris Carney have become strong leaders in the House of Representatives, and are giving a heavy dose of reality about what is, and what is not, supporting the troops.
Imagine, for a moment, if we had more like them. Think about how the debate would change if more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were able to take to the floor, and the credibility that would add to criticisms of the president's failed policy in Iraq.
Just to be clear, Soltz is a Iraq War veteran whose job it is to get veterans elected to Congress, and even he doesn't seem to know that Congressman Walz didn't serve in Afghanistan.
And the misleading phrase from the congressman's website is clearly the official party line, because Walz has repeated it elsewhere-
Military.com personal biography page-
Prior to retiring, Walz served overseas with his battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Congressman Walz's Myspace page-
"Prior to retiring, Walz served overseas with his battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom."
Congressman Walz himself repeated the phrase during the Democrat weekly radio address-
I know that as I speak to you today, you are gravely concerned about the war in Iraq. As the highest ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress and a veteran who served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, I share your concerns. Democratic radio address Dec 30, 2006
SourceWatch, a left leaning sort of Wikipedia alter-ego, also says Walz is an Afghanistan vet-
"Walz was born in West Point, Nebraska in 1964. When he was 17 he joined the Army National Guard and served for the next 24 years including in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan." Sourcewatch article dated March 12, 2009.
Minnesota Public Radio called Walz an Afghanistan vet on election day in 2006-
Walz was a high school teacher and football coach. He is also a command sergeant major in the Army National Guard. He served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Like many Democrats, Walz latched onto the call for change in government. He paired that with a grassroots campaign by a political outsider.
Congressman Walz and his staff seem to have made no effort to correct these media impressions that he is a combat vet. Quite the opposite, the same misleading phrase is still on his website 4 years later.
Hopefully the Congressman will soon address this issue, as well as the damning photo of the Congressman himself claiming to be an Afghan vet in 2004.
Yesterday, with the help of Travis Quinlan, a fellow Iraq War vet, we presented a copy of the photo and the original post to Congressman Walz's office in Mankato, so there can be no question any more that Walz is aware it. We also took video, and Walz's staff had some interesting things to say. More to follow on that.