Illinois Veterans Speak Out
Last week, Congressman Mark Kirk corrected the name of an award he earned for outstanding service in Operation Allied Force (Kosovo). In response, Alexi Giannoulias launched a negative campaign to smear Mark Kirk’s distinguished 21-year Navy service record and distract voters from his serious integrity deficiencies. Over the weekend, veterans from across Illinois came forward to offer their support for Congressman Kirk and express their outrage over Alexi Giannoulias’ smear campaign.
ALLEN LYNCH (Medal of Honor Winner, U.S. Army) - Gurnee
"I was proud to serve our nation in uniform and I'm supporting Mark Kirk because he knows what it's like to wear the uniform in defense of our country. To me, it was disrespectful for Mr. Giannoulias, who has never served in the military, to question the distinguished service record of a 21-year veteran like Mark Kirk - especially on a day when we were remembering our fallen soldiers."
CONGRESSMAN JOHN SHIMKUS (U.S. Army) – Collinsville
“Mark Kirk misstated the name of an award he actually won for service he actually performed in a conflict in which he actually served. There was an error, and he corrected it. As a West Point graduate, I appreciate Mark’s 21 years of distinguished military service.”
STATE SENATOR JOHN O. JONES (U.S. Air Force) – Mount Vernon
“As a veteran of the United States Air Force, I resent the fact that Alexi Giannoulias, who has never served in the military, would attempt to discredit the service of a decorated veteran like Mark Kirk. Mark Kirk has an exemplary military record and why Alexi Giannoulias would question it, when he has none of his own, is beyond me. Southern Illinoisans will see this for exactly what it is - smear tactics at its worst.”
STATE REPRESENTATIVE RON STEPEHNS (U.S. Army) – Greenville
“A mob banker like Alexi Giannoulias questioning the military record of Mark Kirk, who has put his life on the line defending our country, is contemptible and reeks of desperation. As a Vietnam Veteran, who was wounded in battle, I am offended that someone who has never once wore the uniform would challenge Mark Kirk's decorated military career.”
STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE BOST (U.S. Marine Corps) - Murphysboro
“I served our nation in the Marine Corps and I'm proud to support a fellow veteran like Mark Kirk. Alexi Giannoulias should be ashamed of his negative attacks on Mark's service to our country and friends of mine who have served in the armed forces are disgusted at Alexi's desperate attempts to distract people from his troubled bank.”
ADAM KINZINGER (Air National Guard) - Bloomington
“As a fellow veteran, I understand what it’s like to put on our nation’s uniform and put yourself in harm's way. It is disappointing when those who have chosen to serve our country are subjected to this kind of pathetic attack - especially when negative charges come from someone who has never served in the military. I stand with Congressman Kirk and his 21 year record of distinguished service in the U.S. Navy Reserves.”
Adam Kinzinger is a captain in the Air National Guard and has served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. A graduate of Illinois State University, he is a candidate for U.S. Congress in the 11th District
PHIL HOZA (U.S. Army) - Winnetka
“Mark Kirk serves our country with honor and distinction. He saved our veterans hospital and stood up for veterans and military families. Alexi Giannoulias is a failed banker who has never served in uniform. If Alexi Giannoulias wants a character debate, Mark Kirk wins every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
LENNY FLOOM (U.S. Army, WWII) – Lake County Veteran Stakeholders Chairman
“Mark Kirk has been delivering for veterans throughout his entire career. As a fellow veteran, I have been proud to support Mark both as a friend and a constituent. That's why I'm so disappointed by Alexi Giannoulias' desperate attacks on Mark's distinguished service record. The voters will see this for what it is - a political stunt designed to distract people from his troubled bank.”
JOSEPH PULDO JR. (U.S. Marine Corps) – North Chicago
“Mark Kirk has a record of accomplishment in uniform and as a Congressman. He fought to save the North Chicago Veteran's hospital and has been a tireless advocate for our troops. He wears the uniform and has built a 21-year record of distinguished service in the Navy Reserves. There is no comparison between him and Alexi Giannoulias - a man who has never served, has no record and no place to criticize a veteran.”
LUKE PRAXMARER (U.S. Marine Corps) - Palatine
“Mark Kirk wore the uniform of our country with honor and distinction. Alexi Giannoulias never has. The only person who needs to apologize is Alexi Giannoulias for trying to disgrace a decorated veteran.”
JEFF BRINCAT (U.S. Marine Corps) – Lake Forest
“Mark Kirk wore the uniform of our country, put his life on the line to defend our freedom and the thanks he gets is a political smear campaign. The fact is Mark Kirk received many awards across 21 years of distinguished service and misstated the name of one. Alexi Giannoulias is a 34-year-old mob banker who never served anyone but himself. Mark Kirk has my full support.”
TOLBERT CHISUM (U.S. Marine Corps) - Kenilworth
“I understand Mark Kirk misstated the name of a very distinguished award that he actually did receive for outstanding service in Operation Allied Force. I understand Mark Kirk was also awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for that service. What was the name of Alexi Giannoulias’ award again? Oh wait, he never served.”
ROBERT VENTRULLA (U.S. Army) – Waukegan
“I served in the United States Army for more than 20 years. Congressman Kirk has cut through red tape and assisted veterans with benefits, awards and assistance due to them.
“My own claim was in a quagmire for a long period until I requested assistance from Congressman Kirk. I have him to thank for making an impact on my daily life. We need Mark Kirk as a Senator. He has been there. He understands the Veteran and the Active Duty Military. He understands the threats we face from our enemies.
“The attacks by Mr. Giannoulias remind me of a person grabbing at straws. It is disgusting that a non-veteran would attack Commander Kirk’s military service.”
JERRY GOODMAN (U.S. Army) – Buffalo Grove
“Mark Kirk is an experienced leader who has demonstrated honor, integrity and leadership during his military career and public service. All one needs to do is compare resumes and it becomes abundantly clear that Mark Kirk should be our next U.S. Senator from Illinois. Mr. Giannoulias has insulted not only Mark Kirk, but all those who have served in the United States military. His action this Memorial Day is shameful.”