A war veteran runs for Congress | Arkansas Blog

A war veteran runs for Congress


A Marine veteran of fierce combat in Iraq runs for Congress. It takes newspaper digging to learn about his decorated military exploits.

He's Seth Moulton. A Democrat, Running for Congress in Massachusetts.

Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Boston Globe.

In 2003 and 2004, during weeks-long battles with Iraqi insurgents, then-Lieutenant Moulton “fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire” while leading his platoon during pitched battles for control of Nasiriyah and Najaf south of Baghdad, according to citations for the medals that the Globe requested from the campaign.

The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

Moulton, who is facing off against Republican Richard Tisei in the Sixth Congressional District race, has been so close-mouthed about the medals that in his campaign, only his campaign manager – a former Marine – knew of the awards before the Globe asked for the citations on Wednesday. Even his parents did not know, and were told just this week, according to Scott Ferson, a campaign spokesman.


Citations aside, Moulton’s campaign was propelled from the start by his compelling personal story: the Harvard graduate who became a Marine officer after 9/11; who spent two years in Iraq commanding an infantry platoon even though he, and many of his men, opposed that war; and who later earned graduate degrees in business and government from Harvard.

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