Wednesday, June 02, 2010

U.S. Politics: Decorated military leaders question Gary Miller's military service

In the wake of accusations in Harper's Magazine Online that Congressman Gary Miller misrepresented his military service during the Vietnam era, three respected military veterans, Major General Paul Vallely, Colonel John Fer, a Prisoner of War during Vietnam and former top level White House Military Officer, Lt. Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson have issued a call for Miller to release his military medical and service records. The three veterans form the Military and Veterans Advisory Committee to advise Miller's opponent for the GOP nomination in California's 42nd district, Phil Liberatore.

Miller's bio going back to his days in the California Assembly states that he served in the U.S. military from 1967 – 1968, but according to the Harper's article, Miller was discharged after just 49 days of enlistment in 1967. This truncated enlistment appears to fall far short of Private Miller even finishing boot camp. Currently, all references to Miller's military service have been removed from his official biography online.

"I am deeply concerned about any person distorting their military record especially a sitting United States Congressman," said Major General Vallely. "As military veterans, we expect candidates to disclose their military service records. There have been too many instances of politicians and candidates for office distorting their record of service. Politicians and candidates should not hesitate to release their military record so as to remove any question or doubt about the manner in which they served their country."

"Those with nothing to hide release records like this as a matter of routine," added retired Colonel Fer, a respected combat veteran who was a Prisoner of War for over six years including time at the infamous Hanoi Hilton with Senator John McCain. "Those with something to hide or who have things they don't want voters to know about, muddy up the water. Today we are calling on Gary to do the right thing and release his service and medical records."

"This Memorial Day weekend we celebrated the lives of America's finest and bravest who served our country-including the dozen of sons and daughters of the 42nd district whom Gary Miller voted to send into harm's way," added Lt. Colonel Patterson. "If he's done so while lying about his own service then he needs to step aside."

The news of Miller's distorted military record comes weeks after a similar scandal broke around Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Attorney General running for a U.S Senate seat who had embellished his military service in the US Marine Reserves and just days after Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced an amendment to the Stolen Valor Act criminalizing anyone giving a fraudulent representation of combat.

Miller, who has dodged questions regarding his military service, is quoted in the book "Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier," which highlights and honors military veterans serving in Congress as saying: "It has been a tremendous honor to have served in the U.S. Army. The leadership skills which I experienced in the U.S. Army allow me to take the lead on issues which promote a stronger defense."

Major General Paul Vallely retired in 1991 from the US Army as Deputy Commanding General, US Army - Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. General Vallely graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned in the Army in 1961 serving a distinguishing career of 32 years in the Army. He is an author, lecturer, and was a senior military analyst for seven years with Fox News. He was the Military Committee Chairman for the Center of Security Policy in Washington, D.C. General Vallely currently serves as CEO of Stand Up America.

Colonel John Fer (Ret.) flew combat missions in Southeast Asia as an EB-66C Destroyer pilot with the 41st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of United States Air Force. On February 4th 1967, he was forced to eject over North Vietnam while flying his 54th combat mission. He was captured and became a Prisoner of War for over six years at the Hanoi Hilton. After spending 2220 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4th, 1973. He became a school principal after 28 years of military service. Colonel Fer is currently Director of Ministries for his church.

Robert "Buzz" Patterson is an author and a decorated United States Air Force pilot (Ret.) with 20 years of active duty service. From 1996 to 1998, Lt. Colonel Patterson served in the White House and was the Senior Military Aide to President Bill Clinton. During that time he was responsible for the President's Emergency Satchel, commonly known as the "nuclear football", which contains the means by which the President can launch nuclear weapons or retaliate with nuclear weapons. This "nuclear football" accompanies the president 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where he is in the world. Patterson is a decorated pilot for his service at the White House and for flying operations in combat. Lt Colonel Patterson is currently a pilot for a major airline.

See Gary Millers comments in "Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier: Soldiers in the 111th Congress", page 97. Available for download at

Source: Phil Liberatore for Congress

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