Before our induction into the American Armed Forces, each of us swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Honoring that oath requires we speak out about stolen valor.
When Tyler Kistner first ran for the Second Congressional District (CD2) seat in 2020, he claimed, “I’ve been in combat,” that he “deployed to the front lines six months at a time,” and that, referring to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, “I’ve been in such conflicts.” None of it was true, but then Kistner lied about his lying when he said he had “never claimed to be a combat veteran.”
The lies are back. Media ads from a GOP Super PAC recently stated Kistner served “four combat tours.” These deceitful ads ran throughout last September until complaints by a veterans’ group, Vote Vets, forced their cessation.
A recent article in the Minnesota Reformer provided new exaggerations. Kistner’s campaign consultant asserted Kistner “led three combat missions.” This implies boots on the ground. If this was true, Kistner would have been awarded the Combat Action Ribbon. But the award requires “satisfactory performance under enemy fire.” That never happened, but his campaign continues the lies.
The term is not unearned valor or fake valor. It’s stolen valor because the theft diminishes the valor of those who actually experienced combat.
We veterans of CD2 agree that since Tyler Kistner distorted his military record to seek admiration and votes, he can’t be trusted to uphold his oath and truthfully represent us.
Steve Anderson, Army, 1967-1969
John Armour, Army, 1967-1969
Paul Armour, Army, 1967-1969
Joseph Balsanek, Air Force, 1970-1992
Kelly Ann Bankole, Air Force and Air Force Reserve (ret.), 1985-2007
Donald Broskoff, Army, 1969-1971
David Duchene, Navy, 1967-1971
Jack Fect, Army, 1960-1964
Jeff Goldy, Air Force and Air Force Reserve, 1990-2006
Richard Guiton, M.D., Army, 1960-1973, and Army Reserve, 1981-1991
Denise Kanfield, Army, 1986-1993
Kory Kwakenat, Army, 1990-1998
Anthony McGarvey, Army, 1991-1994
Robert F. Mokos, Air Force, 1971-1977
Robert Regnell, Air Force, 1972-1975
Jeff Roy, Marine Corps, 1968-1970
Donald Slaten, Navy, 1969-1973
Robert Wertis, Coast Guard, 1977-1982
Bruce Yernberg, Navy, 1966-1970