Let’s set the record straight.
You may have recently seen some disparaging television commercials, aimed at ruining my reputation by questioning my service record during the Vietnam War. A group calling themselves Cub Scouts for Truth pays for these ads, but don’t let the name fool you. That group is just a front for my opponent. He and his big money cronies are the ones who paid for these lies.
I’m here to set the record straight. I remember exactly where I was during the Vietnam War. Between the years of 1967 and 1969, I was proudly serving in the Cub Scouts of America. I volunteered for duty. I answered the call from Douglas Shapiro’s mother, who wanted to know if I’d be interested in joining her den. I didn’t try to run from duty or hide behind my father’s money. He had no money to hide behind. If he had, however, I can assure you that I would not have tired to hide behind it. The boys I served with – Douglas, Bobby, Vance and some kid with crossed eyes whose name escapes me at the moment – were brave, young Cub Scouts. We met every other Tuesday night in the Shapiro’s basement. I always answered the call, except for missing one meeting because I had to have my tonsils removed.
These are facts.
They’re public record.
There is no disputing.
And yet, my opponent, through this bogus Cub Scouts for Truth group, is attempting to taint my service record. It’s been going on for months now. My supporters have been clamoring for me to respond, to fight back. I have waited until now because I did not want to turn this campaign into a series of personal attacks. I wanted to talk about the issues. My opponent, however, wants to make this personal.
You know what I say?
Bring it on.
Let’s debate Vietnam.
As I’ve mentioned, time and time again, my record of service during that war is public knowledge, easily accessed by anyone with the ability to get on the Cub Scouts website. What you’ll see there is that in 1967, when I was eight years old, I was awarded a silver arrowhead. In 1968, while serving in Chestnut Ridge, Maryland, I was awarded two bronze arrowheads and was recommended by my pack leader to become a Webelow.
If you try to look up my opponent’s record during Vietnam, what will you find? You will find many repeated absences from school. You will find incomplete records of his very existence. Did he volunteer for service in the Cub Scouts during Vietnam? No. In order to escape the conflict, he declared himself 4-H. He didn’t even volunteer for that. They came and got him when they found he had a goat. How many meetings did he attend? We don’t know. His records are “missing”. Try to find the truth about my opponent. You will find nothing but cover-ups. You will find a roadblock at every juncture. The people in power protect him by hiding the truth.
I don’t need to hide.
In September of 1968, under great duress, I carved a pinewood derby car from a block of wood using only my father’s penknife. I received the bronze arrowhead for winning the derby with that small, hand-carved toy car. And if I ever chance to forget it, I am reminded by a sliver of pine I still carry in my finger.
I bled for my country.
I’m not the only one. There were many of us who volunteered. Douglas, Bobby, Vance and that kid with the crossed eyes whose name I can’t remember now – you can ask any one of them what it was like in that summer of ’68 when the knots were being tied and campfires were burning brightly. They’ll tell you what it was like. They’re the real heroes. They’re the real Cub Scouts.
This group, the ones calling themselves “Cub Scouts for Truth”? They’re just a bunch of guys on the payroll of my opponent. It’s a shame that he had to stoop this low and insult Cub Scouts everywhere who volunteered and served their country during Vietnam by selling candy bars, identifying poisonous plants and helping old ladies across the street.
But that’s the kind of guy he is.
The kind of guy who couldn’t even make it in 4-H.
To close, I’d like to lead us all in the Scouts Oath. It’s something I say each and every day, whether I’m running for office or not. “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and country and to… do… wait. Obey… the law of… our country, so help me, let’s have cookies!”
Take that, Cub Scouts for Truth.
Bring it on.