Downer Pens Letter in Response to Landry’s Insults and Attacks
SOUTH LOUISIANA – On August 24, 2010, it was reported that Congressional candidate Jeff Landry was asked by a reporter to explain his often stated claim to be a “veteran of Operation Desert Storm”. He responded by admitting that he had never served overseas, and then immediately attacked the over 35 years of military service of his opponent, retired Major General Hunt Downer, and other veterans who received similar military honors.
Landry called Downer, the recently retired second in command of the Louisiana National Guard and former Secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans affairs, a “disgrace to the uniform.” In addition, Landry mockedas a “political prize,” a medal that Downer and thousands of men and women in uniform received. During the campaign, Landry has constantly referred to himself as a “veteran of Operation Desert Storm” in debates, campaign advertisements, newspaper articles, and on his law firm website. Only when questioned by the reporter in the final days of the primary election did he reveal that he never served overseas. Instead, he immediately attacked Downer’s record and service. Today, Hunt Downer responded to these attacks with the following letter to friends and supporters:
August 25, 2010
Yesterday, my opponent, Jeff Landry, attacked my over 35 years of military service as a “disgrace to the uniform” and referred to a medal received by myself and thousands of other Servicemen and Women as a “political prize”.
I am deeply saddened that this election has come to this. Public service in America used to be about building things for our future; but somehow, this election has become about destroying my past.
In all of the noise of this election, the candidates seem to have forgotten why we decided to run. We let petty differences take our attention away from the issues that matter most to Louisianians and all Americans.
This personal destruction is what is wrong with American politics today, and it has got to stop! Here in South Louisiana, families are hurting, businesses are closing their doors every day, and thousands of our people are losing their jobs. Yet all we do is talk about what may or may not have happened 20 or 30 years ago. None of this makes our country stronger. It only divides us.
When I first joined the military, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And when I signed up to run to be our next Congressman, it was because our Constitution was being trampled on and our country was headed in the wrong direction.
This campaign needs to be about ending the drilling moratorium, cutting taxes, and reigning in out of control spending. This campaign should be about securing our border, protecting the sanctity of life, and honoring and upholding the Constitution.
My commitment to you is this: I will always be guided by what is right. My decisions will be focused on fulfilling the American dream so that we can build a better future for our children and grandchildren because, at the end of the day, that’s why we call America home. It’s why we are a nation of Citizen Soldiers and why Americans answer the call to public service.
Please join me in restoring our great state and nation. Let’s take our country back!
HBD SigLouisiana Proud,
Major General, US Army (Ret.)