Graham Hunt, Veteran Under Fire- “I just want to get my reputation back!”

 In Politics, Veterans

Graham Hunt, Veteran Under Fire- “I just want to get my reputation back!”

Graham Hunt has been described by one of his friends as “one of the most honest, liberty loving men I know.” But after a concerted campaign to remove him from office over his military record, he resigned in February. He now has the proper documentation to prove his claims… he is a combat veteran and served in Iraq early in the war.

The “Hunt” to clear his name

The allegations were over his military record, saying that he embellished his combat record and medals. The problem? He couldn’t find the records to prove his claims. So the attacks became fierce. It even involved an Uncle Sam’s Article.

In 2014-2015, Graham Hunt was a Washington State Representative for the 2nd Legislative District which includes Orting along with parts of Pierce and Thurston Counties.

graham hunt

Graham Hunt

In that capacity, his love of all things veteran led him to create a work party several times for a veterans’ cemetery there- the Washington State Soldiers Home Cemetery.  They cleaned headstones, raised funds, and did  fabulous job of restoring it. We wrote about that venture here.

But in that article we were told- not by Mr. Hunt, but by others, that he was a Marine. In January, we corrected that part of the story after we were notified that it was not correct. But by that time the furor over his military record had reached a fever pitch. Now we will help set the record straight.

Truth revealed

He enlisted in the Air National Guard, but was called to Active Duty – he is a USAF combat veteran.

It took Mr. Hunt 4 months of dealing with the Air Force, but he finally has the documentation to prove his claims. The issue was that one section of his service was missing a DD-214 entirely. The proper paperwork was issued on June 1, 2016 from his service that ended in 2005. He openly admits making a mistake in his listing of medals, a mistake that has been since corrected.

“… I am a combat veteran and at no point did I purposefully exaggerate or lie about my service to my country…” Graham Hunt

The updated discharge sheet

The local news reports of his new release of documents are still skeptical of his claims. We viewed his VA benefit verification that shows his 80% disability. News media claim that because it doesn’t list exactly what the disability payment is for, they wanted access to his medical records. He did not allow access. Good call.

Did he serve in Iraq? As an ad hoc security team member in 2003, his assignment was considered “classified.” Therefore, all he can verify is that yes, he was there.

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His updated records indicate that Mr Hunt was awarded two more medals than he put in his first biography for the Legislature. DD-214 records are the definitive answer for most, but not everyone is lucky enough to have them accurate on the first go around. The Tacoma Tribune did verify that the updated documents were genuine.

He received an Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon With Gold Border. The gold border indicates “individuals who were engaged in conducting or supporting combat operations in a designated combat zone.” So as to the question of whether he was  “combat veteran” or not, that answers that.

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Being under intense scrutiny by the media can be daunting. Mr. Hunt says that his resignation from the legislature was a “mistake.” However, his family was suffering under the pressure as well.

His position was lost, and a person appointed to replace him. But he remains a liberty-loving man who simply wants his reputation cleared.

“I love this Country. Our Freedom and Liberty are the envy of the world, and it is secured by the men and women who have served, fought, and died to protect it.

That’s the reason I have been working on the restoration project for the Washington State Soldiers Home Cemetery, we aren’t finished there and we will continue to work to restore it to the same condition as Arlington. We must remember our veterans. We must honor their legacy, as they have fought to protect American from our enemies.” Graham Hunt

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