A state representative from Washington is facing some tough questions now about his military record.
36-year-old Graham Hunt– a Republican lawmaker who represents the 2nd Legislative District of south Pierce and Thurston counties– reportedly altered his online bio, after questions were raised about medals he claimed to have won.
Hunt served in the Arizona Air National Guard from 1998 to 2005. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant, and from 2005-2010, he was a non-participating reservist. The Seattle Times reports that the military personnel center has no record of three medals Hunt had listed in his online bio.
According to the Times article, the state lawmaker has since deleted references to the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
Hunt, who described himself as having been wounded in combat, also reportedly deleted a reference to having been a “combat veteran” of Iraq and Afghanistan. Hunt told the paper, “he cannot remember the names of units he deployed with to Iraq and Afghanistan,” and declined to elaborate on service-related injuries–for which he’s apparently receiving disability benefits.
In his new online bio, it says he served “tours of duty in several countries, including multiple tours to the Middle East.”
Hunt admits he made a mistake with the Iraq medal but for the others he says the documentation “may be lost in boxes” somewhere.
The public-affairs director for the Air Reserve Personnel Center said while medals and citations are normally a part of a veteran’s service records, “they are not always up to date if the veteran did not submit required paperwork.” The center does have records for other- less prestigious- Air Force medals that Hunt received, but not for the Commendation Medal.
“Honestly, I don’t even care to list any honors or awards I have received, because frankly I don’t think they are that important to the public in the first place,” Hunt said.
Also at issue, is a dramatic Iraq War photo that was posted to his Facebook page in May 2014. The post read: “This picture of me was taken after a mortar attack in 2005,” and added: “Background has been modified, but I think combat camera captured the moment pretty well. I surely have not forgotten that moment.” Hunt was not in that photo. He alleges that a campaign volunteer posted it without his knowledge.
Hunt has declined requests from The Seattle Times to sign a waiver allowing “fuller disclosure” of his military records. Hunt is currently heading U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign in Washington state. He’s up for re-election this fall.
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