Joni Ernst claims to be a “Combat Veteran." That claim implies that her mission was to actively engage the enemy in combat. However, Mrs. Ernst is not a member of any “combat arms” unit. Infantry, artillery and armor are combat arms units. Mrs. Ernst was the Commanding Officer of Transportation Company. This company was responsible for the delivery of water, fuel and other supplies to units in secure areas. Joni Ernst did not lead her troops into combat, as one of her ads claims. Mrs. Ernst’s troops were not combat personnel, and their mission was not combat. Essentially, Mrs. Ernst was in charge of a group of truck drivers. I am sure that the mission of supply delivery had many potential hazards, but driving trucks from one secure area to another secure area is not combat, even if personnel were armed with M16s.  

As an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, I was awarded the CIB, Combat Infantryman Badge, to signify my participation in combat. The photos of Mrs. Ernst in uniform shows that this award is absent. Any claims that she is a “Combat Veteran” seem to be a greatly overstated misrepresentation and perhaps a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There is a distinct and obvious difference between those who served as combatants and those serving as support personnel. Mrs. Ernst and her soldiers served an important support role but not a combat role. This overstatement of service and accomplishments to gain political advantage does harm to those veterans that served and actually were “Combat Veterans."

If this is an example of the honesty she promises Iowans, I say no thank you. 

(64) comments

David Jackson

"That claim implies that her mission was to actively engage the enemy in combat."
-Larry Hanft


No it certainly doesn't. It means combat arms MOS or not, she was actively engaged by or actively engaged the enemy. This is everything from hitting and IED, receiving shrapnel from mortar fire, receiving small arms fire, or shooting at enemy forces. You are aware that nobody but Infantry gets the CIB right? Even other combat arms Soldiers like Armor get the CAB (Combat Action Badge) did she have that one?

I don’t know if Ernst is a combat vet or not. I do know that another Soldier putting our bad information is BS.

Lee Van Brocklin

Reading of one veteran cutting another in a 'stolen valor" type attack is disgusting. The Iraq war had no lines or contiguous secure areas accessible by road. Each surface supply mission into and out of the Green zone, airport, or from one secure area to another in country was through a combat zone.

And you are very wrong to base your condemnation on the absence of a CIB on her uniform. The CIB is ONLY authorized to be worn by Infantry and Spec Forces. Thousands of soldiers not assigned to Infantry units were awarded the Purple Heart in Iraq. Were they not combat veterans?

Larry Hanft

Somewhere in our "social media" world we have redefined things like heroism, honor, integrity. You are correct it is possible that some of Ms. Ernst soldiers may have been exposed to gun fire by enemy combatants and the real threat of IUD's. But realistically those things are not "combat". The military would not choose to send trucks and personnel into active combat areas to deliver supplies unless it was an emergency. Loosing the vehicles, supplies and troops would be a serious mistake. Ms. Ernst was not a driver, she was an administrator. A portion of her job was to plan a way to deliver supplies without endangering valuable assets. Those assets were the vehicles and soldiers. Ms. Ernst nor her soldiers were trained to be combatants. The mission of Ms. Ernst's company was not combat, avoiding combat was an important part of the mission. Actively engaging the enemy in combat on a regular basis defines a combat vet . Being in a "combat zone" does not make you a combat vet...... you have to earn that distinction.

Ms. Ernst served proudly, her unit did not suffer serious injury or deaths. Redefining "combat vet" to mean anyone that was in the theater of operations is unacceptable and inaccurate. Visiting France for a few weeks does not make you French, likewise, being in a combat zone does not make you a combat vet.

Joe Snuffy

As an Infantryman myself I can appreciate your fervor, but unfortunately in the case it is misplaced. Also, your comment make it appear you are biased to a conventional warfare model, and not the type of counter-insurgency operations that were being conducted in Iraq.

FEDERAL DEFINITION: under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. (Discharges marked GENERAL AND UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS also qualify.) As far as combat veteran is concerned, there is not as clear cut definition, but it is typically based upon whether or not a Soldier qualified for "hazardous fire pay", which I am absolutely certain LTC Ernst and her entire command qualified for. At least by Veterans Affairs standards all these Soldiers would qualify as "combat vets". I also have seen no statement made by her or her camp that would qualify as a claim that qualify for persecution under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.

Also, as a veteran with a cumulative time served of just shy of four years of combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan (and these tours would qualify under Department of Defense definitions as well as your additional qualifiers) and fourteen years of total military service I can tell you that convoy operations are some of the most hazardous and arduous missions the the contemporary combat theater. The enemy quickly learned that they are typically out gunned in any sustained fight. Instead they quickly, and quite effectively, learned to conduct these ambush tactics, often with IEDs. I do not have LTC Ernst's very fortunate record of having never lost a Soldier that was assigned to me, so I can tell you on a very personal note that I have lost more troops and friends to attacks on the open roads during troop movement and sustainment operations than any actions on the objective for raids or assault missions we conducted. We were by far at our most vulnerable when we were in our vehicles and driving on the road.

I thank you for you service in Vietnam, but on this topic I feel your understanding of the relevant points is a bit limited. I encourage you to find another aspect of Joni Ernst's record to find fault in, because your definitions and qualifiers in your argument are completely your own invention.

David Jackson

“You are correct it is possible that some of Ms. Ernst soldiers may have been exposed to gun fire by enemy combatants and the real threat of IUD's. But realistically those things are not "combat". The military would not choose to send trucks and personnel into active combat areas to deliver supplies unless it was an emergency.”
-Larry Hanft

Are you for real guy!? Gunfire and roadside bombs are not combat? That’s called enemy contact (regardless of your particular MOS) in case you missed that part of FM 7-8.

I’m not sure what rock you have been hiding under to not know that re-supply missions routinely ran in “active combat areas” in both Iraq and Afghanistan and still do in the latter. In my unit’s AO of Afghanistan our support company routinely came under small arms fire when resupplying the combat outposts from the FOB, and even struck a few IEDs (not to be confused with IUDs which the enemy never tried to fire into our female’s uteruses by the way). They also were tasked with ground resupply and support of Battalion level air assaults in which they came under fire. I recall one mission where they were recovering one of my company’s trucks that had been destroyed after hitting an IED where in the process of pulling in onto the back of a flatbed the received fire from at least one PKM and had RPGs flying right over their heads. They returned fire with both small arms and the M2s and M240s mounted on their gun trucks and this isn’t combat? In Vietnam you didn’t see combat if you were a 25C radio guy attached to the 11Bs and 19Ks and your platoon came in contact with Charlie? That lack of a blue cord on his uniform meant commo never saw combat? Really!?

They may have been POGs but they still had to fight. No, they were not humping out the back of Chinooks and patrolling across grape rows for days on end clearing compounds, sweeping for mines, and looking for trouble with the Taliban, but they were outside the wire and in combat with the enemy when they came out to support those of us who did.

There are those who talk up their deployment who never saw anything close to combat. They think because the air raid siren went off when Haji lobbed a rocket into the FOB that they were in danger even if they were blocks away from the impact site, and try to talk up their deployment when out they are at the club, talking about how they are a hard motherf@cker when they really nothing. I fully agree guys like that are no combat vets, but that being said, if you went outside the wire and were shot at, you are a combat vet. I don’t know in what world you can be actively being shot at, involved in shooting at people who are shooting at you, and/or constantly scanning for pressure plates and command wires and finding bombs attached to them, that it’s not combat but apparently you live in it.

As I said, I don’t know if Ernst is a combat vet. But your assertion that because she was a POG MOS she can’t be a combat vet is astoundingly ignorant. If you know every patrol she was or was not on that’s one thing but if you did you would have posted that by now. The fact you want to call out another vet when you have no idea if she was ever in a gun fight is outright bullsh*t dude.

Joe Snuffy and Lee Van Brocklin are both right on.

rabart808

She's a "veteran" of the wars, period.

rabart808

… which does not make her a combat veteran.

James O'Donnell

What we have here is not an "example of [Joni Ernst's] honesty," but rather an example of the depths to which bitter partisan hacks like Larry Hanft will sink.

Tell the families of these Iowa soldiers

* SPC Dustin Scot Colby (1133rd Trans Co)
* SPC Daryl Davis (144th Transportation Co)
* PFC David M. Kirchhoff (2133rd Transportation Co)
* SPC Joshua Knowles (1133rd Transportation Co)
* SGT Aaron Sissel (2133rd Transportation Co)

that they "didn't die in combat."

Tell the families of the other Iowa Army National Guard "non-combat" soldiers killed in Iraq that their deaths weren't in combat because they didn't get a CIB to go with their Purple Heart.

Tell SGT Robert Briggs' family that their son didn't spend years in pain and suffering before the artillery fragments in his head killed him. And then tell them that he wasn't a "combat veteran."

Maybe he was a victim of "workplace violence"?

Larry Hanft, you should be ashamed of yourself. You've been pitching your nonsense all over Iowa's newspapers. Was the dishonor you brought on your Army service worth it?

Mark Cooper

Anyone who serves in a combat zone is a combat veteran. Hanft's inability or unwillingness to accept that shows his shallow understanding or maybe he is an elitist that thinks only those who actually shot at another is qualified as a 'combat veteran'. I have two cousins who were in Europe during WW II. One saw combat, the other was in transportation and delivered supplies to the front. Both received the Bronze Star for serving in the European Combat Theater.

If we want to take Larry's train of thought one step further, he too would not be a combat veteran as Vietnam was a "police action" not a war. If you don't have war, you can't have combat.

Kenn

I might urge the author to rethink his position.
First and foremost, she was not in the infantry, so she was not eligible for a CIB . Next, did the author serve with any 19Ds in Vietnam? If so, I'd be willing to bet they didn't earn a CIB either, but I bet they put in the same work he did.

Just because she didn't have a mission that involved directly engaging the opposition does not mean she was in any less danger.

Does the author recall the early days of the war? How many times did support units get hit before the opposition engaged combat arms MOS troops? Does the name Jessica Lynch ring a bell? Would you say she's not a combat veteran?

Plain and simple, she was deployed in a theatre of war, she lead troops on missions assigned to her and her unit.

When was the last time the "Green Zone" was ever completely "Green"?

She is a combat veteran whether she fired her weapon at forces assaulting her position or not.

Be Blessed.

Boesens

It is very sad that Mr. Hanft has let ideology cloud his mind and judgement. I am a combat veteran of two tours to Afghanistan, an infantryman and an Airborne ranger. The Department of Defense includes Iraq in its listings of combat zones, where Soldiers who serve there receive the authorization to wear the combat patch SSI. Lieutenant Colonel Ernst served in Iraq at a time when it was designated a combat zone. Therefore, she us a combat veteran who served honorably and has been truthful with Iowans about her service. This argument cannot be broken. I am frankly shocked that you bring up this petty little issue, when America is circling the drain. We have scores of issues to solve to include staggering national debt, failing education, no energy policy, an inept foreign policy, no security on our southern border, excessive executive over reach among a host of other issues that matter to Iowans and Americans. With all this in the backdrop, you want to quibble about her combat service? I invite you to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, Mr. Hanft. You once served this nation proudly, I ask you to do again. Go to conventionofstates.com and see a possible solution. If we do not come together as a nation soon, we will not have an America as we knew it left to live in.

soco4612

She never said she was in combat, only in war. There is a difference.

Travis Van Buren

You, sir, must have forgotten your lessons learned some 45 (+/-) years ago. Truck drivers were, and are, routinely targeted by insurgents for IED attacks and were often the primary targets for direct combat by irregular forces (insurgents) due to their "soft target" nature.

My qualifications? 4x Iraq war veteran, Field Artillery.

Char Manley

It is incredibly alarming, dangerous and unbelievable the lies of the GOP continue to go unchecked. They claim to be for America but their actions could not be farther from the truth. Please remove this dangerous woman.

Char Manley

Ernst is being disingenuous. As someone who is great friends with an Army psychiatrist who had made three trips over there... it sounds to me that Ernst and My friend, Major K as she is known.... were very much safe. Yes, it was a "combat zone" but those zones as I have heard at times are in fact greatly exaggerated for the ILLUSION that one was in fact in harms way on a constant basis.

Why you all defend this woman who is a fraud on so many fronts is disturbing. The meetings with the Koch brothers.... the subsidies her family has taken from the government all the while painting the ILLUSION that they were very poor is very very shaky ground and is being exploited for her own personal gain.... NOT the citizens of IOWA nor the USA

Ray Lakers

Bread Bag Bong Hits 4 Iowa: http://youtu.be/sNRQKDXfGsA

Joe Stutler

Not a fan of Joni Ernst the Politician by any stretch of the imagination. However, Joni the Veteran...Yeah, I'm backing her. She served. She did her duty. She deployed to Shitshittinthefan, as did many of us.
I don't go around claiming I'm a "combat veteran". I do claim, and have the documents and such to bolster such claim, that I'm a War Veteran. I don't know if there's a technical distinction, but I didn't have to account for expended brass nor did I have to account for damage to my body armor. I was in a war zone, but I didn't get to fire back (not that my M60, much less the M16's, would do much against the Scuds dropping in my 'hood).
Is Joni a "Combat Veteran"? Damned if I know. If she is, I am. Certainly she's a *War Veteran*.
As for some grumpy old fart quibbling over semantics, whatev. Focus on the issues - Joni is far off the mark on those. Focus on the future - Joni is focused on the past, by at least a century. Focus on fixing the problems - Joni isn't...unless your problems are the same as the 1%.
Until then, why are we wasting ink (or electrons) on this non-issue?

Kevinolson30

IED's, RPG's, Morters, rockets, bullets.... You're right taking these on a convoy or where you sleep doesn't make you a combat vet. Combat arms units being taken care of by a transportation unit? You're all welcome for your ammunition, your food, everything you have came on a truck. Proud!

Garden12

I must disagree with the author. It is not a reflection on your service warrior, but anyone who serves in a combat zone and receives imminent danger pay is a combat vet. They may not be infantry or special forces or ranger but they are a combat vet. There are degrees of exposure and in Vietnam that exposure was highest among combat arms. However, everybody knows that every member of a combat arms infantry unit receives a CIB if their Brigade unit or smaller engages the enemy or takes fire. If you are not in one of those units no matter how much action you see. In Iraq more than 50% of the casualties were due to roadside bombs and it was in fact extremely dangerous to drive from one safe place to another safe place as you say. If you look at some different sources you find its about 3 combat arms to 1 combat service/service support. So infantry is more prone to risk of death. Still, I find it hard to say that an infantryman who takes fire and is killed from small arms is more of a combat vet than someone who is blown to bits by 2000 pounds of explosive on the side of the road. I don't care for Joni Ernst the politician but she served in an imminent danger area and she is a combat vet.

Noli Mendoza

Mr. Hanft,
I understand and respect your viewpoint. However, you have misunderstood some points of the term "combat veteran" in today's social context. The distinction you may be making is that only those in combat arms serving under direct enemy fire during a time of recognized military hostilities (war) can a person be called a "combat veteran".
However, i am a veteran of 4 combat tours. I was a medic with a Ranger Company, a SF medical sergeant, a SF team leader, and a physician. in each instance i was under direct threat and fire by the enemy in times of violent conflict. my branch was Army Medical or Medical Service Corps. So, are you saying that I am NOT a combat veteran?
In today's military, a combat veteran is recognized even if they served in a rear echelon during a military conflict. We have drone pilots sitting in Colorado, flying the UAV's in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are considered combat veterans.
So, though you are allowed your opinion. I am also allowed mine. Joni did her time in the military, which is A LOT more than i can say for our President and most of the members his administration and the Democrats in government.
I hope that when it comes to choose a presidential candidate this year, you will be just as enthusiastic about finding the good in people.
Sincerely,
Noli Mendoza
LTC (ret) US Army Medical Corps, US Army Special Forces

Glenn Wilkinson

#americansnipper the Joni Ernst story In just one day i snipped over 300 Taliban soldiers

William Wilfong

If you serve in a combat zone you are a combat veteran. Things have changed since Vietnam. There were a lot of us who were there that were told we weren't there.

PW Covington

I am a total Liberal....100%+ against everything that the GOP has force fed America for at least the last 30 years......BUT...
Technically, and according to the federal regulations that both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs operate under, the term and title "combat Veteran" is extended to any military member that has met the requirements to have been awarded a campaign or expeditionary service medal.

The US Army loves to talk about "Combat Arms" professionals as if they are the only service members that ever serve in harm's way, completely ignoring the duty that those working in fields such as transportation and logistics, engineering, military policing, civil affairs, etc. By this standard, there would be no "combat veterans" at all outside of the US Army's infantry, armored, or artillery communities.
Tell it to the Marines, tell it to to the Navy, tell it to the USAF.

Simply put, if you have earned the Iraqi or Afghanistan Service medal, the Kosovo service medal, the South West Asia Service medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, or the South East Asia Service Medal, you are legally a "combat veteran".

Being such, in no way prevents you from ALSO being a Conservative idiot.

Joseph Arechavala

I've heard about many deaths in convoys delivering supplies in Iraq and Afghanistan - there were many casualties because of insurgent attacks and bombs.

I don't like Ernst politics in the least either, but to disrespect her service is totally uncalled for.

ltcmiked

As a combat arms officer and veteran of 5 deployments this post is complete BS. Scroll through the bios of all our casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan and you'll see THOUSANDS of non-Infantry, Armor, Artillery, etc ... does that mean they were killed or wounded in something other than "Combat"? For years the highest casualties in Iraq came from support units getting hit by IEDs. If Senator Ernst deployed to Iraq she's a combat veteran, if she went of the FOB she put her life on the line every time.

Robert Stephenson

I see you are a veteran of the Vietnam war and I thank you for your service. Just so you know, with the onset of the global war on terror, warfare is now asymmetrical and therefore, members of the military who deploy to a combat zone are considered combat veterans. Also, if you are not part of a combat arms unit, you do not receive the CIB even though you may have engaged in, or been a part of a team-size or below unit that engages with the enemy. Those individuals receive the Combat Action Badge (CAB) instead. I find your post very small minded and petty, Anybody who deployed to a combat zone for OEF or OIF served in combat and if their DD-214 shows that they did, then they are a combat veteran. I don't know if you were drafted or not but Join Earnst is part of the less than 1% who are currently serving their country in times of war. She is okay in my book.

Matt Johnson

as much as it pains me to defend this woman. I have to stop this article in it's tracks. For the simple fact that after 3 tours of duty I discovered one does not need to have a combat MOS to engage in active combat and supply units are constantly being attacked while on supply missions. I was blown up 3 times and lost count of the times I was shot at with bullets wizing past so close that you could feel them. I saw more combat with 1 tour of duty while I was in a supply company than I did when I was in an parachute infantry regimen. the enemy specifically targets supply trucks. infantry isn't even in the top 5 deadliest military jobs. but you know what is. TRUCK DRIVERS. so SCREW this dude that wrote article cause I want to kick his ass after reading this first paragraph cause 5 of my buddies died that weren't infantry one of them female. They were shot, blown up, and burned alive in combat. SO screw this a-hole who wrote the article who doesn't know crap about the current combat roles. he can suck on my taint

Lisa McDonald

I hate to bring this up but I have a blue cord and just happen to be "transsexual.' You know, its guys like you that give the infantry a bad name. I have plenty of Infantry Vet friends that are no where near as sexist as you come across. I'm also a Veteran of the Occupation of Berlin and served during Grenada. I never set foot on the battlefield but I belong to the DAV, can join the VFW (Occupation of Berlin) and join the Legion (served during Grenada and never saw the place.) Joni Ernst is more of a combat vet than I ever will be. I could put her down for being a "Republican" because I am "transsexual" but you know what I voted for her because she is a woman and we need more of them in office. I looked beyond my personal needs so that some young girl can look and see that yes she can rise up. Doesn't matter if her parents wear the label Republican or Democrat. How about you look beyond your needs to inflate a problematic male ego.

Robert Short Sr.

so because she doesn't have a penis she can't be a combat veteran? Why don't you go down to your local va and tell the females there they aren't real combat veterans no matter what their purple hearts and missing limbs say.

Keith Ensminger

I wish you would have written this before the election.

Curtis DR

If the roads are so safe over there, why don't you and your family go drive on them. Were the helicopter transports flying around Vietnam not in combat either? I would continue, but its not worth it. This was one of the most uninformed and ignorant things I've read in awhile.

Jason Bird

Mr. Hanft,

Thank you for your service to our country.

However, I find it absolutely distasteful that you would discount anyone's military service in a combat zone for political reasons. You may not wish to leave this world better than you found it, but I do. Joni Ernst was not on the front lines, but she was in the combat zone, supporting those who were. She was in danger if IED and ambush attacks with every convoy. Some of us read the news and hear of these attacks with stunning regularity. If she was your daughter or granddaughter, would you make the same denigratory comments?

Chinsky

Wombat, or perhaps veteran dingbat?

Mike148

Pure nonsense, whatever her mission if she served during a conflict in an area of combat she is a combat vet. The fact that she isn't assigned to the infantry doesn't change her status.

Virgil Kane

Mr Hanft has no idea what he's talking about. I dislike this woman's politics to the core but she has every right to call herself a combat vet. Every right.

Hanft doesn't know but running a convoy in Iraq was one of the most dangerous jobs around; ambushes and IEDs as well as snipers accounted for a large number of casualties among drivers, MPs & anyone pulled to run security for them. Mortars didn't ask what your MOS was when they exploded.

Unfortunately Hanft's opinion is far too typical among Vietnam vets I've met at the VA. It's really soul-sucking to see a room full of PTSD sufferers from Iraq/Afghan being discounted by Vietnam vets, and I've seen it done. The very people you'd think could mentor or help them seem to turn on them. It's gotten so bad at the Seattle VA that separate PTSD groups have been started for Iraq/Afghan vets.

Most of Vietnam vets were one and done draftees who don't realize that a large amount of Iraq/Afghanistan vets have far more experience in combat then they do regardless of MOS, most regular army vets did 3, 4, 5 or in some cases a dozen deployments to that area.

DONOFGHAZALIYA

Kuwait during OIF was not Combat, she commanded from Kuwait. Joni is not a combat veteran nor a veteran of the Iraq war. Joni also is relying on the technicality's by paperwork alone that include her into any of these statuses but none earned; as Kuwait is not combat. IED's or the roadside bomb's were in the developmental stages during 2003-2004 and were rather ineffective. Boo to the Fraud

Patrick4287

First, I served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Two Purple Hearts and a CAR (Combat Action Ribbon). In my opinion, if you weren't in my, or my buddies foxholes then you weren't in combat.

Second, how did an idiot and intellectually challenged person like Joni Ernst become an officer? Standards must have lowered to some great extent.

An exception should me made for Joni Ernst for violating the Stolen Valor Act and charged with a crime. It's bad enough to have been in combat. It's even a greater insult to veterans when Wannabees like Ernst pretend or fabricate their actual role in the military.

Patrick4287

Virgil Kane

Maybe you should fact check before you get your socks wet sticking you foot in your mouth too fast.

http://www.vhfcn.org/stat.html

You will find 2/3 of Vietnam veterans volunteered. So read and you see other myths that have been debunked.

I'm one of those two tour Marines who served in Vietnam. I did two 13-month tours in the jungle. Don't know what the length of a deployment is for the military today, but we did not have all those luxuries the vets today have.

Jorj McKie

Pat said: "In my opinion, if you weren't in my, or my buddies foxholes then you weren't in combat."

So what? If you're going to accuse Ms. Ernst of lying, you need to show that she said something that wasn't true, not that she didn't meet whatever personal definitions apply on Planet Pat.

The military defines combat. If she's got a combat tour listed on her 214, it doesn't really matter what you and Larry are chaffed about. If she doesn't, then she's go a problem - but, again, not because she wasn't in a foxhole with you.

I don't like her politics, but attack her for things she's actually said or done. She didn't lie - you guys are, well, confused.

DonaHahn

I pulled two tours in combat in Vietnam. I was not awarded the Combat Infantry Badge because I was not Imfantry. Only personnel in the Infantry branch can qualify for that award. I was intelligence and went on several operations with Infantry units. They wanted to try to give me the badge but it would have been stretching the truth a little and I wouldn't pursue it. Joni Ernst would not qualify either as she was in the Transportation Corps. She did lead in combat operations...

cozumeldeb

My opinion is it makes no difference if she was in the military. The fact that makes a difference is she was bought and paid for by Koch Bros and IA voters will come to regret their vote. Ernest is akin to Bachman & Palin, both who made their states a laughingstock. .Get ready.

Mickey Coe

Let me go out on a limb and make a guess: Larry has never been in the military, is a smart guy, but knows NOTHING about which he speaks.....so his sewage speaks mounds for him! With less than 1% that even serve in the military, Joni stands above the other 99% that did not serve their country. Her percentage is higher for serving in combat. Larry, you need to go to the local VA hospital like I have.....{I am a 40% disabled combat veteran). Find the people with missing legs, arms, eyes, etc. and ask them what their job was over there! "guarding a plane in the rear, changing a truck tire, driving a truck down the road, taking water to the field, riding a helicopter picking up wounded, in the rear typing on a computer, etc. My son has 4 tours: Flew over Yugoslavia, Iraq (2 times), Afghanistan, and was shot at each time....does his time count? The last time, he was on the General staff of Petraeus....and two Colonels were shot at their DESK! Does that count? I suggest you go back to school and read a bit of history and military organization and figure out some information before you make an attempt to look like a FOOL from ISU which is a school with a decent reputation...at least it used to until you hit the street with your garbage.

Charles Almon

hey, it's hard to fight using bread bags as combat boots,

swampfox46

Jessica Lynch was in a transportation company. Are you going to say she isn't a combat veteran?

RamblinMan

First off, only infantry can receive the CIB, hence the "I" in it meaning Infantry. All other soldiers earn the CAB regardless of MOS. Other, you are a Combat Veteran is deployed to a zone that is deemed a "Combat Zone" whether you get in a fire fight or not.

Marty Zogas

OH CUMMON ! A REPUBLICON LIE ? I'M SHOCKED !

Marty Zogas

OH CUMMON ! A REPUBLICON LIE ? I'M SHOCKED !

Marty Zogas

OH CUMMON ! A REPUBLICON LIE ? I'M SHOCKED !

Marty Zogas

OH CUMMON ! A REPUBLICON LIE ? I'M SHOCKED !

rgrav8tr

You sir are uneducated in the ways of modern combat. Support pesonnel delivering water and supplies did see combat; IEDs, motars and the occasional ambush. As an officer and AH64D attack pilot I supported these individuals in making it to there destination, in some cases an IED destroyed a vehicle beyond recognition and killed Americans. If that is not combat I do not know what is. You are stuck in the past where you chauvinistic attitude and idiocracy would get you expelled from today's army. Know what your topic is before you accuse any modern soldier of not being in combat. An enemy mortar, or explosive device is just as dangerous if not more than any bullet, but your idiocracy you spew out of your suck hole is more dangerous than any of them.

rgrav8tr

DONOFGHAZALIYA...yes Kuwait was designate a combat zone at the time, a few days before the invasion we had SCUD rockets hit outside our airfield and several other bases, also near a city on the Kuwait side. We dawned chemical gear for two days in 2003. That classifies as being engaged. I'm sorry you all have disdain for her service in the miltary. If her 214 says combat then she was in combat. I appreciate those of you who did serve and seperated after "your time", but this isn't 1967 and the military has successfully progressed for the better with out you. Our leaders now teach and promote tolerance, has woman leaders and educated debate, not mudslinging and chauvinism. The Combat Action Badge (CAB) was also designed so people could be recognized, like the CIB. If she or any member of Congress are so uneducated and inept you should have ran against them. Your intelligence of modern combat just jumps off the page. I'm sure anything harder like nuclear proliferation, global warming, international relations, macroeconomics, or not to mention counter terrorism would be entertaining to watch.

JAMcBroom


By VA standards anyone who served on active duty in a combat theater, received hazardous duty pay for a combat theater, and or has been awarded a CIB, CAB or CAR ( combat infantryman's badge/combat action badge {created in 2005}/combat action ribbon) is a combat veteran.

KSSundberg

I totally agree. I spent 20 years in the Navy and although I was given the National Defense Service Medal twice, I was never in a combat role. Shame on her for indicating she is a combat vet when she is not!

Daryl Hosler

While I respect your service in Vietnam this article shows one of two things: 1) Your total ignorance of what the war in Iraq was like, 2) Your article is politically biased, or possibly both. Truck drivers in Iraq and Afghanistan had one of the most dangerous missions there, driving in lightly armored vehicles and trucks (loaded with fuel) over IED infested roads and constantly coming under ambush. I was an AH-64 pilot in Iraq for two tours and I can't count the number of times I was called to help a group of "non-combatant" 88M truck drives who had been hit with an IED and subsequently ambushed and were fight back with great resolve. Iraq was a war were almost everyone was in the fight, sure there were people that never left the FOB and the occasional mortar or rocket attack was the closes they came to combat but truck drivers don't fit into that category. I was a 12B Combat Engineer (Combat Arms) in Desert Shield/Storm and as stated an AH-64 pilot (non-combat arms) and I saw much more combat in OIF. You can't judge a person based off of what their MOS was, you have to know very intimately what their service involved. I don't know if Ms. Ernst was ever in combat, maybe she exaggerated or lied but based off your article their is no proof of that and it is based on false assumptions. If this is a politically based article have the balls to say so.

dstiffin

So what your saying is, is that since I was a mechanic and a cook who was engaged by the enemy more than twice on convoys, in my living quarters, and has suffered multiple brain injuries that I am not a combat veteran since I'm not infantry and that I shouldn't have received a CAB? Well let me educate you on something. In Iraq or Afghanistan there are no front lines and we are all taught to fight with weapons and hand to hand combat. Infantry does not secure every convoy. It's everyone's job to CYA and your battle buddies as well. Whether you were in Vietnam or not does not mean anything when it comes to the policys and procedures of today's military. Your article has no credibility in what Joni Earnst did or did not do. Who are you to tell people what they deserve and don't. You definitely were not in my chain of command nor did know any of the multiple missions that I have completed that had nothing to do with my job. We are soldiers first.....

John Wollaston

Larry Hanft you're lack of knowledge of military operations is on full display and assuming you really did earn a CIB in Vietnam...you sure didn't know jack about military operations in the theater of operations in which you served.

Chapter III:

Supply Support In Vietnam:

"For the first time in modern history, the U.S. Army was required to establish a major logistical base in a country where all areas were subject to continuous enemy observation and hostile fire, with no terrain under total friendly control. There was no communications zone; in fact, combat and communications zones were one and the same, and the logistics soldier was frequently and quite literally right with the front line tactical soldier"

http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vietnam/logistic/chapter3.htm

I guess Hanft was too busy being smaring Joni Ernst to remember this from Iraq in 2004:

"The ambush of the 724th Transportation Company was the worst convoy ambush of the entire war. No other transportation company suffered as many casualties in one ambush. That Easter weekend was a turning point in the war in Iraq for convoy ambushes. For the next year the insurgents would spar with the truck drivers for control of the road. As vehicle armor improved along with convoy tactics, the insurgents suffered heavy casualties during the Palm Sunday Ambush on March 20, 2005, which inspired them to resort more to improvised explosive devices as weapon of choice."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Iraq_KBR_convoy_ambush


Tell the members of the 724th TRANSPORTATION Company...the families of Pfc Keith Maupin and Sergeant Elmer Krause that their soldiers weren't real combat soldiers.

PFC Jeremy Church was the first truck driver and Army Reserve soldier to receive the Silver Star Medal since the Vietnam War...tell him he's not a combat veteran.

This notion in the modern age of asymetrical warfare...you're not a "real" combat vet unless you're wearing a Combat Infantryman's Bage...which I migh add, was handed out in Vietnam for even non-Infantry soldiers...is antiquated fiction.

JenniO1977

Veterans, mailed and female who served their county in a combat zone during a war time period and considered war time "combat" veterans.

Margaret Pennock

Considering that I was in Iowa State's ROTC program at the same time as this woman and don't remember her nor does my husband who graduated from the ROTC program, is another odd fact about her. In addition, she married a member of the cadre who was married at the time we were in the program. Ugh. My husband has served 3 tours and has earned the CAB as has many other soldiers unlike this woman. Shame on her. Another politician using whatever she can to make it in Congress.

Margaret Pennock

I would think her comment about raising arms against our government is a bit more concerning as a senior officer in the Army than her grand claims of her service. Anyone heard of unbecoming behavior of a soldier? What a leader!

Lee Dutra

The Lady was "In Country" and as so subject to combat conditions no matter what her job. Have you forgotten the supply convoy in Iraq that was attacked? I would be remiss not to thank you for your service Sir, but humbly disagree with you. A fellow Veteran. USAF 1961- 1968

jableakley

She is a combat vet. She volunteered she served in an austere environment and I can promise you truck drivers in Iraq and Afghanistan saw plenty of combat and those in FOBS and COBS had to live under a blanket of mortar and rocket fire. If you do not know the difference please feel free to raise your right hand to defend the constitution and then tell those of us who already stand in front of the flag how it really is

bjs

Can we still call her an idiot?

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