It's too bad Richard Blumenthal didn't go to Vietnam, writes Kathleen Parker, because he would have learned an important lesson: "Real heroes never brag, and real Marines don't lie." Blumenthal has every right to be proud of his non-combat service, but he doesn't "have the right to build personal equity on the borrowed suffering of others," she writes in the Washington Post.
Parker, however, includes an email from her brother, who did serve in Vietnam and takes a more understanding view: "There is nothing that binds Marines together like combat and, if you missed it, I can understand that he may have actually convinced himself he was there. But those who served in combat consider Marines who did not the same brothers, regardless. We are a team and those in the rear are just as important as those on the line."