By Ann Rowland
Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate Ron Dickey is vowing to continue his campaign after being outed for lying about his military service record. Dickey recently issued an apology for misleading the public but that isn’t enough for members of the Special Forces community. They are calling on Dickey to withdraw from running for the seat in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District.
The apology was posted on Dickey’s Facebook page and said “21 years ago, I served as a food service specialist with the 3rd Special Forces Group during Desert Storm. While I wore the Green Beret as part of my uniform, I did not attend the Army Special Forces Qualification course; I did not intend to misrepresent my time in the military. I was given the Good Conduct medal and was honorably discharged. I respectfully apologize to any and all I have offended. I am looking forward to continuing my campaign, and fighting for the rights of our servicemen and women.”
Research into Dickey’s claims of being a Green Beret and implying that he served in Operation Desert Storm was conducted by Special Forces vet George Davenport. Davenport moderates several Facebook groups for special operations and revealing fake claims. Dickey’s name came up when someone asked during a group discussion if anyone had ever heard of him or served with him.
“Some of us contacted Mr. Dickey through his Facebook asking specific questions, where did you serve, what teams were you on. The normal questions,” Davenport told The Clarion Ledger. “The more we asked, the more he started deleting things, which of course piqued our attention.”
The apology issued by Dickey simply isn’t enough for many Special Forces vets. Former Special Forces veteran Bob Zornes sent an email to Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole which reads “There’s no doubt he absolutely knew that he was lying and misleading. … He should man up and withdraw.” Cole responded by saying that the Mississippi Democratic Party in no way condones lying about military service and they wholeheartedly repudiate such a misrepresentation.
For other vets the issue goes to the fact that every vet, no matter how they served, should be proud of their service and not elaborate on it and pretend to have served in a different capacity.
“I would say that people serve their country in all kind of ways. Whether you’re a cook, in the mail room, or holding a machine gun, you’re still serving your country, and we should all be proud of our service, Army vet Kelly Mims told The Clarion Ledger.
Dickey is running on a platform focusing on veteran’s rights. He hopes to be able to put this behind him and have no further problems with veterans. “I’m out here for the vets, so I don’t want to have divisive issues with the vets. The centerpiece of my platform is vets’ rights,” he said.