It would appear that Alexi Giannoulias provided a poorly researched story to the Washington Post to distort Congressman Mark Kirk's military service.
Mark Kirk served in Operation Allied Force and was decorated for that service. You can read his Navy and Marine Corps Commendation official citation and his Officer Fitness Reports detailing that distinguished service to our country.
Mark Kirk’s military service should not be denigrated by a failed mob banker whose reckless lending practices cost the FDIC $394 million when they closed his family bank and also cost Illinois families tens of millions in losses from the state’s college savings fund.
The Giannoulias provided story inaccurately portrays then-LCDR Kirk as just one intelligence officer attached to one Navy squadron. In fact, as the official citation for Mr. Kirk’s Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal clearly states: “…while serving as aviation intelligence officer for Electronic Attack Squadron Two Zero Nine from 10 April to 6 June 1999…He took charge of four deployed squadron's intelligence assets and personnel and forged them into an outstanding intelligence shop.” It was this work that won the nomination and selection of the United States Navy Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Intelligence Award.
Furthermore, the story inaccurately portrays the Rufus Taylor award as a non-Navy award. In fact, the United States Navy Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Intelligence Award is nominated and selected by the U.S. Navy. It is named after the legendary head of Navy Intelligence during World War II. It is then awarded by the National Military Intelligence Association.
If there is any doubt about Mark Kirk’s service record, the following statement was issued this evening by CAPT Clay Fearnow, United States Navy (Retired), Former Commanding Officer, VAQ-209: “As his Commanding Officer at the time, I was proud to nominate Mark Kirk for the Rufus Taylor Award and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his outstanding service in Operation Allied Force. Mark was the best intelligence officer I ever worked with.”
There will be a crystal clear choice in this election between a public servant with a distinguished record of military service who fought British Petroleum to keep Lake Michigan clean and a failed banker who made loans to organized crime, wiped out college savings for Illinois kids and pushed risky banking schemes that cost the FDIC more than $390 million.
Help us turn the page from Rod Blagojevich and Alexi Giannoulias – and start a new day of integrity for Illinois.