The Community Military Appreciation Committee instituted back in 2009 to show appreciation to our Veterans and their families was something I looked upon as much needed in our community, as they worked to remind the community we do have Veterans and they need our support.
The group came into being as Events in our community hosted by the Military were in danger of being cancelled due to those Units being moved northward and out of the community, leaving us with few active duty.
From the efforts of Dan Tarbell and city council member Larry Smith, both Veterans, CMAC came into being and was established to promote Veterans and continue the proud tradition of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
And, the group was intended to be nonpolitical. Or so we were told.
Words cannot express how disappointed I am witnessing just this evening when CMAC made an underhanded political endorsement of a non-Veteran politician, completely ignoring a real Veteran running against him, seated right next to him.
Oh, they did not come right out and say it was an endorsement, but the intent is crystal clear, even to a blind man, given the election is but three weeks away.
We are to believe that CMAC has monitored just how many Veterans events incumbent Mayor Tim Leavitt has attended, claimed to be 28 times.
I won’t dispute the actual number, but I have been at some of these events to witness Leavitt show up, speak for a minute or two and leave. That is not support in my book.
I have also been at several events held for Veterans where Leavitt was nowhere to be found.
As I said in the beginning, council member Larry Smith is co-founder and co-chair of CMAC. He is also a big supporter of Tim Leavitt over fellow city council member Bill Turlay, a retired US Navy pilot and Vietnam Veteran.
I just find the timing of this so-called certificate of appreciation, handed out publicly just 3 weeks before the election, to be highly suspicious and just the underhanded sort of politics Larry Smith has been known to pull.
Tim Leavitt has been under fire for some time due to his several lies and ignoring citizens where Bill Turlay has made it a point to do his best to listen to and act accordingly to what he hears from citizens in Vancouver.
And now, to make a public show of appreciation to Tim Leavitt for his few minutes showing up at some events for Veterans, while ignoring a real Veteran who expressed pride in participating in a combat mission hoping to rescue POWs in Vietnam in 1970 is despicable on CMAC’s part.
As I said, CMAC is supposed to be nonpolitical, but obviously it has now abandoned that stance and likely under the direction of Larry Smith, will try to convince voters that Tim Leavitt has the support of the Veteran Community where US Navy Pilot and Vietnam Veteran Bill Turlay does not.
This is a sneaky and underhanded endorsement that apparently was unknown to some CMAC Board members as I have been contacted with the question of when did this happen and where was it presented, the Board Member not having any knowledge of it.
You will likely hear or read about this “honor” being bestowed on Leavitt in the pages of the Lazy C.
Don’t fall for it, it is just another gimmick to keep Leavitt in office and likely by the hands of Larry Smith, also known for underhanded tricks. Without hesitation, this US Army Vietnam Veteran fully supports fellow Veteran Bill Turlay.
It is a downright shame that a group set up solely to honor and support our Veterans is turned into another cheap political tool.
Whoever is behind this ought to be ashamed.