By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader
August 26. 2018
...State Rep. Sean Morrison, R-Hampton, formed the Veterans Caucus in the New Hampshire Legislature after joining the Army National Guard at 30 and making combat deployments to Iraq.
"The 'combat proven' thing seemed to me to be close to stolen valor," said Morrison, who is supporting state Rep. and Air Force veteran Steve Negron of Nashua in the GOP primary.
"That means you were in direct combat with the enemy and you acted appropriately. I don't think anyone should be separating and holding themselves up on a pedestal as veterans."
A clearly upset Blankenbeker said Friday that Morrison and others who share his views should be "ashamed of themselves."
"I was a combat nurse in a combat hospital in a combat zone caring for combat casualties while the hospital took on an average of 18 mortar attacks in a given day," Blankenbeker said of her time in Afghanistan's violent Kandahar province during 2010-11.Maura Sullivan was a Marine captain in Iraq.
Dan Helmer is the vice chairman of VoteVets, another liberal group supporting veteran candidates.
"Maura Sullivan served in Fallujah, Iraq, an incredibly dangerous area of operations where numerous Marines died, including female service members," Helmer said. "Women in combat zones often don't get the recognition they deserve and we're shocked that anyone would call into question the sacrifices Maura and other female leaders made for our country."
Blankenbeker remembers when the Afghan terrorist threat came into her Kandahar hospital treatment room.
"I cared for a woman; she was an Afghan patient. I was cutting her clothes off in a combat zone and she had a wire harness on her for an explosive," Blankenbeker said. "I had to hold that explosive device in my hand until we could get her sedated on morphine. Is that combat proven?"
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