Friday, July 16, 2010

Combat Vets for Congress

Profiles of Valor: Nick Popaditch
Nick Popaditch is a war hero. A Marine for 15 years, Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch became famous when the Associated Press photographed him smoking a cigar while his unit pulled down a statue of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. A year later, Popaditch was severely wounded during fighting in Fallujah -- he lost his right eye and much of his hearing after a grenade was thrown through the hatch of his M1A1 Abrams tank. He was later awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.

Now, Popaditch, bald and wearing an eye patch, is running for Congress in California on a platform of limited government, strong national defense and secure borders. The race inspired a cartoon in the Imperial Valley (CA) Press that didn't go over too well. It depicts two skateboarders viewing a campaign poster of a bald man with an eye patch and cracking jokes about him. Even Popaditch's Democrat opponent criticized the cartoon, and the paper has since made an apology after explaining that they were mocking the skateboarders' ignorance, not the candidate himself. Popaditch said he wasn't offended: "I've got much thicker skin than that." Not surprisingly, the gaffe has raised his profile and may help him in November.

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