What does 'in support of Operation Enduring Freedom' mean? According to Congressman Walz's biography it apparently means being deployed to an airbase in Italy. Although his staffers admit that they have to occasionally correct people who think Walz served in Afghanistan, they say the biography is pretty clear in what it says.
But the US military says different. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here are a few thousand words that show how misleading the Congressman is being. Each of the following are captions for official military photographs published in official military publications. Click the link to see the photo.
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 8, 2005) – U.S. Marine Cpl. Hunter Guiles, a rifleman with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment takes point while on patrol to a local village during a security operation in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, March 8. 3/3 is conducting security and stabilization operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James L. Yarboro.
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Nov. 1, 2007 – A new, sleek, toy-like airframe is now a part of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade fleet of aircraft traveling the skies of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduing Freedom. Sky Warrior-A began arriving in country in late September and is conducting operations throughout the theater.
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and 3rd Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry soldiers participate in an awards ceremony led by Gen. Eric Shinseki, the U.S. Army chief of staff at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. The soldiers are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Behind them is an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. (Photo by Spc. George Allen, 314th Press Camp Headquarters)
U.S. Army members deplane a CH-47 Chinook at Bagram AB, Afghanistan on January 18, 2003. The Chinook was returning to Bagram after flying a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby)
Pvt. 1st Class Deesha Kuns of the 82nd Airborne Division takes cooked sausage links out of its pan at the Coalition Task Force 82 Dinning Facility a few hours before morning chow on Nov. 17, 2002, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. The soldiers of the Coalition Task Force 82 are deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kelly Burkhart)
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Jack L. Tilley talks to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers during his visit to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, April 5. Tilley had a question-and-answer session with the soldiers. The soldiers are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo by Pfc. Christopher Stanis, CFLCC-PAO) April 5, 2002
Under Secretary of the Army Mr. Les Brownlee (center) shares a breakfast meal with soldiers at the Coalition Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force's dining facility in Kabul. Mr. Brownlee, a retired Army colonel, was in Kabul to meet soldiers and discuss their concerns about current issues while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by SPC Jerry T. Combes)
U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment relax at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, on June 3, 2009. The Marines are currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. DoD photo by Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz, U.S. Marine Corps. (Released)
An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies a combat mission over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. A-10s provides close-air support and can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Robert Wieland)
FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Aug. 2, 2008) U.S. Navy Hospitalman Apprentice Brian Rumbles, assigned to Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, fires on two Taliban fighters fleeing up the side of a mountain while on a mounted patrol outside of Bala Baluk's forward operating base in the Farah Province. Based out of Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., 2nd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment is a reinforced light infantry unit deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason T. Guiliano/Released)
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 9, 2005) – Cpl. Joseph Wolfe, a rifleman with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, aims his M203 toward an area where shots were fired, during a security operation in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, March 9. The Marines are conducting security and stabilization operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James L. Yarboro.
Congressman Walz uses the exact same phrase on his official biography as listed above to describe actual combat in Afghanistan, except that people who read his bio are supposed to miraculously know that Walz served in Italy instead. If, as the Congressman's staff claims, it is common knowledge that he served in Italy, there is no reason not to change the biography to reflect that.
And there has still been no response from Congressman Walz or his staff about the photo of him claiming to be an Afghanistan vet. It has been 3 weeks since I started asking, but I have yet to receive a phone call or email from the Congressman's staff.
Disclaimer-the views expressed above are my own, and do not reflect my membership in the National Guard or the Steele County GOP