Commissioner defends using Vietnam veteran logo |

Commissioner defends using Vietnam veteran logo

An opponent questioned the way County Commissioner Larry Walsh’s characterized his military service in his advertising and on his web site.

Mark Gardner’s campaign manager Virginia Starrett pointed out that Walsh claims to be a Vietnam veteran.

Walsh served on active duty at Fort Lewis, Wash., from Feb. 28, 1966 to Jan. 19, 1968, according to his DD214.

He received an honorable discharge and a National Defense Service Medal, according to his military record.

Walsh said he’s never claimed to have served in-country, but defends his use of the term “Vietnam veteran.”

“I was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, which was awarded to all service members who served during the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf and recently the Global War on Terrorism,” he said. “I think that qualifies me as a Vietnam Vet.”

Starrett’s issue is the use of a logo that has the words Vietnam Veteran above and below a representation of the Vietnam Service Medal Ribbon.

“On his website, there is even a more elaborate claim made by Walsh in a narrative where he dramatically describes a visit to the (Veterans) Memorial in front of the historic courthouse in Minden with Carl Schnock,” Starrett said in an email to The Record-Courier.

The medal itself is reserved to members of the armed services who were in Vietnam or its contiguous or airspace between July 3, 1965 and March 28, 1973.

There are veterans who served in Indochina outside of those dates who did not receive the ribbon, including those who served during the Mayaguez Incident in May 1975.

The U.S. Government refers to all veterans who served during the Vietnam War as Vietnam-era veterans.

Starrett’s candidate Mark Gardner claims no association with the military on his web site or in his advertising.