David Daniels

I don’t believe Tim Sheehy is a war hero and I don’t think other people should believe it either. He’s not much of a warrior either, as evidenced by his reluctance to meet with Montana journalists seeking follow-up on the Washington Post’s explosive Glacier Park story.

Sheehy’s current explanation for the “Battle of Logan Pass” is that he lied to a federal park ranger about a bullet wound. He refuses to release his medical record from the 2015 hospital visit in Kalispell. He claims the 45-caliber slug embedded in his arm resulted from an unreported incident in Afghanistan.

By his own account, Sheehy failed to report this injury to his superior officer.  This cover-up reflects extreme poor judgment that could have endangered his platoon.  Wounding could lead to sepsis or physical impairment should the bullet dislodge or shift position. Such preventable injury could endanger a mission.

The late John McCain was a real war hero, as are John Kerry and the late Max Cleland.  These men exemplified service, integrity, and dignity. In contrast, Sheehy hitched his campaign wagon to Trump, the only president to stage a coup against our own government.

Trump called John McCain a “loser” for being captured during the Vietnam War.  He has insulted Gold Star Families and NATO allies alike while embracing his patron Vladimir Putin. Sheehy prefers to mimic this disloyalty rather than speak on behalf of real war heroes.

Sheehy recently criticized President Biden for the loss of 13 service members in the Afghanistan withdrawal. But he won’t mention Trump’s December 20 Executive Order putting withdrawal into motion.  Trump did not consult his generals, intelligence agencies, or allies in making this surprise announcement.

Trump’s impulsive declaration for withdrawal was intended to cause headache for the incoming Biden Administration. Trump could have initiated withdrawal at any point in his term but he didn’t. He pulled the pin on a hand grenade and tossed it to Biden.

If the U.S. held troop loss to 13, it may be a tribute to quick planning by soldiers more professional in their conduct than Tim Sheehy. The abrupt announcement for withdrawal was the most irresponsible action Trump could have taken.  The real winner of this decision was Putin.  It’s conceivable that many more service members could have lost their lives by such ill-conceived policy making.

It’s commonly understood that Trump voiced his support for Sheehy based on Sheehy’s wealth and ability to self-fund his campaign. Trump betrayed his most loyal lapdog, Matt Rosendale, even though Rosendale showed he was “trainable” by fully embracing the Big Lie. Trump’s selection of Sheehy over Rosendale shows that outside groups consider Tester’s Senate seat as “buyable” and republican voters to be easily swayed.

I’ve met many Montana folks who say they are land rich but cash poor. Sheehy appears to have both. But that’s not a good substitute for integrity, character, and ability to represent common people.