Jesse in the Headlights

Jesse in the Headlights

Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has long boasted of his service
in Vietnam as a member of the Navy’s elite SEAL units, and recently
belittled deer hunters who had never ‘hunted man.’ But an exposé by
a former Navy SEAL commander puts Ventura’s military record in the
crosshairs.

Salisbury, writing on Cursor.org, methodically traces
Ventura’s military service using his own 16 years experience as a
SEAL, the Freedom of Information Act, books, and interviews with
Ventura’s fellow service men and concludes that Ventura never was a
SEAL. While Ventura has acknowledged that he was part of the
Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 12, he has argued that the terms
SEAL and UDT are the same. But Salisbury points out that even
Ventura’s commanding officer doesn’t think that the two are
interchangeable.

After castigating Ventura for calling himself a SEAL, Salisbury
writes, ‘Tell you what – as one old SEAL/UDT manhunter to another –
let’s share a war story or two and give those who dream of being
warriors a glimpse of the glamour.’ He then goes on to describe two
painful and graphic stories: one about his first kill, the other
about the first man he watched die.

‘So there it is, Jesse. Now it’s your turn to inspire would-be
warriors, those who would spare Bambi and be hunters like us, of
the most dangerous game.’
–Sara V.
Buckwitz
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