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Old 12-04-2006, 03:47 PM
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Default American Legion Chief Falsely Claims HE's a "Vietnam Vet"!

LEGION CHIEF CLAIMS TO BE A "VIETNAM VETERAN" - BUT IS HE? -- Paul A. Morin is National Commander of the American Legion.


His bio on the Legion's web site states: "Morin is a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Army." The closest Morin got to Vietnam was Ft. Dix, New Jersey.


When Paul A. Morin worked at the state level of the Legion, he called himself a "Vietnam-era veteran."

But, all that changed when he made the move to become National Commander. He suddenly became a "Vietnam veteran."

Morin's claim of being a "Vietnam veteran" brings disgrace to himself and the entire American Legion.

Worst of all, it belittles the service and sacrifices of all who were "boots on the ground" in Vietnam.

Morin's bio on the Legion web site is here... http://www.legion.org/?
section=our_legion&subsection=ol_ntlcommander&content=ol_ntlcommander

The published article can be found here... http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/
articles/2006/12/03/legion_chief_alters_line_on_war_service/?page=1

Story below:

-------START--------


Legion chief alters line on war service


By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Correspondent


When Paul A. Morin , the national commander of the American Legion, sought election to the office in August, he described himself in the lead sentence of his campaign biography as a "Vietnam veteran of the US Army." Since he was elected Aug. 31, the Legion's website has featured the same description.


And when Morin testified before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee Sept. 20, US Representative Steve Buyer , Republican of Indiana, introduced him as an Army veteran of Vietnam. Morin registered no objection, according to the hearing transcript.


And three months ago, Morin said he hopes that servicemen returning from Iraq will be treated better than those who returned from Vietnam. "When we came home, life was a little different. We do not want to see any veteran ever returning to what we did, so we'll be there to be welcoming them home with open arms," Morin said, according to a transcript of his interview with the Pentagon Channel , the Defense Department's television network.


But the only place Morin ever returned from was Fort Dix, N.J. According to his military records, Morin spent his entire two years of Army service, from 1972 to 1974, at that Army training base . In fact, before he sought the coveted one-year term as national president of the country's largest veterans' organization, Morin was content to be known as a "Vietnam-era" veteran -- a signal to other veterans that he did not serve in Vietnam.


Morin, in a telephone interview on Thursday, defended his decision to describe himself as a Vietnam veteran when he ran for Legion president. Neither the US government nor the Legion itself makes a formal distinction between veterans who served in Vietnam and those, like himself, who did not.


"I am a Vietnam veteran," Morin, a Massachusetts resident with a senior state government position, declared. He said there is no need for his Legion biography to make it clear that he did not serve in Vietnam.


The Legion's principal spokesman, Joe March , yesterday defended Morin's right to the label. As far as the Legion is concerned, March said, any current service member stationed in the United States could claim to be an Iraq War veteran.


But Morin's description flouts long-standing and widely accepted protocol among veterans -- that only those who served in the Vietnam theater between 1964 and 1975 should call themselves Vietnam veterans.


Even Morin's five immediate predecessors as national president made it clear they had not served in Vietnam. Just 3.4 million men and women served in the Vietnam theater, which included the Gulf of Tonkin, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Of those, 2.6 million served in South Vietnam. There are more than 5 million other veterans who served elsewhere during those years.


Veterans who know of Morin's claim to be a Vietnam veteran expressed disbelief and dismay that someone so deeply embedded in the veterans' culture would lay claim to Vietnam veteran status.


Former US Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, and who has been a Legion member since 1969, expressed concern in an interview on Friday that by inflating his r?sum?, Morin has undercut the credibility of veterans' groups as they seek congressional support for underfunded veterans' programs.


"For the national commander of the American Legion, who never even served in the Vietnam theater, to call himself a Vietnam veteran is a lie," Cleland said.


Cleland, who headed the Veterans Administration during the Carter administration, expressed incredulity at Morin's and March's justification for the claim. "This is the American Legion hierarchy changing the rules in the middle of the game, solely to try to cover the [expletive] of the national commander now that he's become an embarrassment to the organization," Cleland said.


Thomas G. Kelley , the Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam, said that Morin is being "disingenuous. When someone says he is a Vietnam veteran, it means he served in the theater of the war. One would infer from his bio that he served in Vietnam."


Jim Skiba , a Legion member from Holyoke who was wounded three times in Vietnam, said he is so upset with Morin that he is considering abandoning his membership. "For our national leader to be portraying himself as something he is not is a disgrace," Skiba said in an interview.


Morin, who lives in Chicopee, is perhaps best known in Massachusetts for his day job: He is the superintendent of the Soldier's Home in Holyoke , a state-run facility for needy veterans that has 317 beds. He is on unpaid leave from the position, for which he was paid $110,423 in 2005. The Legion, for his one-year term, pays him a $100,000 stipend plus expenses.


The warrior mantle Morin has donned is new: When he was the ranking member of the Legion's Massachusetts Department, the state website correctly identified him as a Vietnam-era veteran who had been a supply technician and lineman stationed in New Jersey.


But that changed this year with Morin's campaign brochure. Under the headline, "The American Legion Department of Massachusetts Proudly Presents Paul A. Morin for National Commander," it described him as a Vietnam veteran in the first line.


The "Vietnam era" reference is no longer on the state website. The Legion's national website put up a biography describing Morin as a "Vietnam veteran of the U S Army." The lead paragraph on the Legion's news release proclaimed: "A U S Army Vietnam veteran from Chicopee, Mass., has been elected national commander of the nation's largest veterans ' organization."


March said he wrote the news release and the website biography with Morin's approval. "I asked him, 'Is this fine with you?', and he said, 'Great,' " March said.


In October, even the Massachusetts Legion publication, The Legionnaire, identified Morin as a Vietnam veteran. The only reference to Morin's stateside service has been a brief mention deep in a profile of him that appeared in the Legion's monthly magazine the same month.


But the "Vietnam veteran" moniker has created an indelible imprint. As Morin travels the country speaking to Legion groups, news accounts -- from Indiana, Ohio, and New York -- regularly describe him as a Vietnam veteran.


His Vietnam status is also highlighted in notices of his upcoming appearances. California's American Legion department is trumpeting Morin's visit to Legion facilities there starting on Dec. 11 -- complete with the Vietnam claim. The Legion's state convention in Ohio in January has Morin, as Vietnam veteran, as its featured speaker.


According to Morin's military and Selective Service records, he was an unlucky 18-year-old when the draft lottery was held in 1971. His birthdate was number 36, making it virtually certain he would be conscripted. In June 1972, he was ordered to report for induction. He enlisted, for a two-year period, the next month -- and spent the two years at Fort Dix. He was awarded a marksman's badge and -- like everyone else who served honorably in the military -- a National Defense Service Medal.


With the biography as backdrop, Morin's public statements can leave an erroneous impression. Asked, for example, about his statement about how he was treated when he came home, Morin said he believes that even servicemen who returned home from New Jersey were shunned.


During an October visit to an American Legion post in Indiana, Morin said, according to a newspaper report: "One thing we must never do, that was done during my war, is to separate the warrior from the war."


Morin, who confirmed that he made the remark, said he did not intend it to mean that he served in Vietnam. "By 'my war,' I meant the war that occurred during the period of time I was in the military," he said.

-------END---------


What a disingenuous, arrogant asshole this guy is!.......My opinion anyway.
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2006, 05:06 PM
39mto39g 39mto39g is offline
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He was ok up unto the point where he said "I am a Vietnam veteran" until that point only other people had said he was a VN vet not him.
I have no Idea why people claim to be a VN vet and are not, I volunteered to go to VN from Fort Benning, wish I had never done that, but to claim to have been there and was not? its the understanding part of the story I just don't get. I think Most VN Vets would look at him and just go, WTF dude. But when you run for a office that supports military people and then LIE?

I had a friend that joined the VFW the same time I did, His dad was the VFW president. He had been stationed in Thailand but not in a war zone. When the VFW rejected is application he was going to fight it. I said Dave, just what do you think VFW stands for?
There nothing wrong with being a member of the Legion, To most being a Legion Member meant you were in the Military, just not in a war.

I had a nother friend that me and him got orders to head overseas on the same day, we boarded the same aircraft from hometown heading for Chicago. His mother and my mother were friends, She called my mother and was worried about her son going to Italy? My mother , reportedly told her, Are you nuts, My son is going to the 25th inf in VN and your worried about (Dave) (different Dave) going to Italy?
Different line drawn in the life sand.

Ron
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:25 PM
DMZ-LT DMZ-LT is offline
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Puck him , I just hope the band is good at the Legion Saturday night
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:54 PM
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Never thought I'd say I agreed with you Gimpy but in this case I do. That POS should be thrown in jail and the monies paid to him should be returned to the VA and the American Legion. Might help out some Vets who really need it. It's a shame that the head of the American Legion turns out to be a Phony. They are the lowest of the "Low" and even lower than Whale S.it.
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:24 AM
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My brother, who served with great distinction in the U.S. Navy as a spook, never considers himself a "Vietnam Vet", even though HE IS! He was on small spy ship of the "Pueblo", "Liberty" type. A "research" vessel. His ship patrolled South Vietnamese waters, North Vietnamese waters, North Korean waters, Red Chinese, and Soviet waters. Dangerous? Just ask the survivors of the Pueblo and the Liberty. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, with 2 stars, I believe. This humble man says, "No Tom, you were there and right in the thick of it. I was just off the coast, I just find it hard to say I'm a Vietnam Vet when I didn't actually set foot in Vietnam". I tell him that the medal says your a Vietnam Vet, and I say it. Have ordered a window decal for him for Christmas that says, "U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam".

Now I read about this guy who fought the horrible fight at LZ Ft Dix. Now I have nothing in the world against a Vietnam Era Vet. Odds were, they would probably get sent over, and they served. But to change his listing to Vietnam Vet.......that's downright deceitful. He can't plead dumb...anybody that gets to where he is in an org like the Am Leg knows. Hell guys, all VN vets and VN Era vets know the score. It also seems like the Legion is defending him. I long ago gave up my membership in the Legion for reasons I could discuss but won't unless someone asks. I stand by my not being a member after reading this. Whatanasshole!

Now, just a question for all. Who here would say my brother IS a Vietnam Vet?

Pack
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:05 AM
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Don't matter what we say... the goverment says he is with that VSM , got a VSM decal on my truck. Guess your brother is our brother in arms

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Old 12-05-2006, 07:13 AM
39mto39g 39mto39g is offline
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Being a VN vet is not black and white if your in the NAVY, I would go by what ever the NAVY said. Another one is an Air force pilot stationed in Thailand and flying missions for Khe Sanh or Hanoi. The NAVY is smart enough to reolize that he was a part of the VN war and so should be recognized . My personal opinion would be yes, he is a VN vet.

Ron

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Old 12-05-2006, 07:29 AM
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Yes he is
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:38 AM
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Default Pack,...

...

...In any way of "In harms way" is just that,...

...not sitting at the officers club @ Dix,...

...Yes,...

...
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:56 AM
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This sad and disgusting revelation about this wannabee is as much of an indictment of the American Legion vetting process if nothing else. If he had applied for membership in the VFW, he would have had to roduce his DD 214, which is the provign/disproving document; if foreign service during time of war is not noted on the 214, admission to the VFW is denied. What the sam hill does the American Legion use?
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