Congressional candidate releases documents on Rep. Palazzo's military record
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Surrounded by Mississippi veterans, Republican congressional candidate E Brian Rose attacked incumbent fourth district Rep. Steven Palazzo.
Rose revealed what he called double dealing and special favors in an assault on Palazzo's military record.
"Promises were broken", Rose said.
Rose provided previously unreleased documents and information regarding Palazzo's service, saying Steven Palazzo sought special favors to be assigned duty at Camp Shelby, rather than be sent to Iraq with the 155th battalion in 2004.
Palazzo's office told WLOX News Now that he was never ordered to go to Iraq and was assigned to duty at Camp Shelby.
(See the full list of links to the documents below. Note: WLOX has verified through an independent source that the documents are authentic.)
Rose said Palazzo talks about his service in the book "Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier."
"That is stolen valor," Rose said.
Rose also contends Palazzo "fraudulently" sought discharge from the guard based on false claims of financial, family, and community hardships.
WLOX News Now reached out to Palazzo spokeswoman Jill Duckworth for a response to Rose's accusations. The following is the full statement released by Rep. Palazzo:
"Thirteen years ago, when my family was going through a very difficult time in our lives, I requested a hardship waiver from the Army so I could take care of them. My commander denied my request, and I faithfully served out my time on active duty in the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Not once have I ever denied that I requested this waiver more than a decade ago. I am a better person and a better soldier because I remained in the National Guard, where I have and continue to serve to this day. I've been in the military since I was 19 years old, deployed overseas as a U.S. Marine in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, have served more than 20 years in the military, and am proud of every single minute I've spent in the United States Armed Forces.
Unfortunately, every two years my political opponents feel the need to attack my family, my military service and my character. Frankly, it's disgusting and my opponent should be ashamed."
Iraq War veteran Bill Vallon was also at Thursday's news conference and told the crowd he feels Palazzo should resign.
"He's unfit to serve in the military, and he's unfit to serve in Congress," Vallon said.
Rose challenged Palazzo to a debate, saying the congressman hides from debates and town hall meetings.
"There is a genuine thirst for dialogue about the issues. The voters are tired of being shut out and denied the opportunity to attend a public discussion," Rose said.
The following documents were released by the E. Brian Rose congressional campaign. (Files with "r" indicate redacted content for privacy. )
- May 6, 2004 Palazzo request for separation from Army.
- August 5, 2004 (original) Palazzo request for separation from Army.
- Letter from Col. Stricklen to Steven Palazzo stating request for hardship discharge is being returned without action. Col. requests Palazzo follow procedures. (dated 8/16/04)
- Letter from Palazzo to Col. Stricklen stating he will not provide medical records or further information. (notarized 8/16/04)
- Memorandum: Soldier Request for Separation because of Multiple Hardships Under AR 635-200 (notarized 8/16/04)
- Palazzo Financial Statement showing only Army income, no income for spouse (notarized 8/16/04)
- Palazzo Letter / Affidavit to Col. Stricklen requesting discharge from the Army based on Financial, Community, and Family Hardships (notarized 8/16/04)
- Lisa Palazzo Affidavit stating Family Hardship (notarized 8/16/04)
- Wendy Scoggins Craft Affidavit refuting Steven and Lisa Palazzo’s Family Hardship claim and citing Steven with dual taxpayer salaries
- Palazzo’s Soldier Request for Separation Under AR 635-200 for Community/Humanitarian Hardship (notarized 8/25/04)
- Palazzo Letter / Affidavit to Col. Stricklen requesting discharge from the Army based on Financial, Community, and Family Hardships (notarized 8/25/04)
-Letter from Col. Stricklen to Palazzo denying request for separation from the Army (dated 9/7/04)
-Opinion Letter from LTC Brian A. Montague, Command Judge Advocate (dated 9/4/04)
- Letter from Palazzo to Col. Stricklen requesting separation request be appealed to higher chain of command (dated 10/22/04)
- Biloxi Housing Authority PHA Plans
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