Larry Provost

Apparently government bureaucracy counts as a “real job” as opposed to serving in the Armed Forces. You heard it correctly. Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, who is running for Governor of Maryland, said that he had held a real job by being Attorney General of Maryland, as opposed to his opponent who had “only” served in Iraq and is also the currently serving Lt. Gov. of Maryland.

Attorney General Gansler said his comments needed clarification but he is not going to get out of this one. The truth is after sending many of our soldiers to fight overseas, some politicians have nothing but contempt for a Veteran who would dare run against them for office. So the politicians resort to a favorite tactic, denigration.

Last week The New York Times published an article attempting to link Vietnam Veterans to the evils of white supremacist groups. Now an elected official has the audacity to say that Veterans haven’t held a real job.

Tell that to the Soldier or the Marine who has endured countless sleepless nights, from basic training to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Maryland Attorney General may not be aware but soldiering and military service is, at its core, several jobs. It is everything from trained protector to physical fitness instructor, nutritionist, counselor, mentor, dad, basic medic, teacher and almost any other job that can be imagined. The very profession requires the greatest ingenuity, for it deals daily with issues of life and death.

The divisive and outrageous comments of the Maryland Attorney General are not true. Further those in elected positions, who ostensibly care about sensitivity to groups, perhaps should remember their principles, if applied equally, are relevant to Veterans. Just in case anyone has forgotten, there is still a war on; a war that our military Veterans are fighting well.

It takes a government bureaucrat to say they work a real job while those in military service do not. That comment reveals the Maryland Attorney General shows not only contempt for the military, but also Mr. Gansler’s overreaching ambition. While his opponent, Lt. Gov. Brown, has politics that leave something to be desired, he has earned the respect of a grateful nation by holding a real job in Iraq.

Perhaps it is better if people from one institution people trust, the military, come home and run for office in order to throw out government bureaucrats. That might force the current Maryland Attorney General to get a real job.


Larry Provost

Larry Provost currently works at The American Legion in the National Security and Foreign Relations Division.