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October 06. 2011 8:41PM

Veterans group says Baldasaro should resign House seat


State Rep. Al Baldasaro a retired Marine is shown saluting the flag during a Veterans Day ceremony in 2008. He has found himself the subject of unwanted attention after he made comments to a liberal group that he was "disgusted" by a soldier identifying himself as gay during a political event. (UNION LEADER FILE)

CONCORD — A veterans group Thursday called on a state representative from Londonderry to resign his House seat for his remarks about a gay U.S. Army soldier serving in Iraq.

Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, said last week he was “disgusted” by Stephen Hill, who asked question about repeal of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy during a televised Republican primary debate.

VetsVote.org spokesman David Robinson, a Carroll County resident, said, “For Baldasaro to insult the professionalism of today's military and to call any soldier in harms way ‘disgusting' is un-American and wrong.

“Baldasaro is not right for New Hampshire or America and should resign immediately,” he added.

VoteVets.org advocates for military members and first responders in areas of education, employment, health care and full mission support in the war on terror. It also advocated for repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Known at the State House for his bluntness, Baldasaro brushed off the group's criticism.

“I'm not going nowhere,” he said.

Baldasaro is the chairman of the House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee, and a retired U.S. Marine Corps sergeant.

Baldasaro said he told a Londonderry audience he thought “it was great” to hear audience members booing Hill because he thought Hill was breaking military law.

He said Thursday his problem was that Hill was wearing Army apparel, in this case camouflage pants and an Army T-shirt, while participating at a political event. He said Hill should be punished, but he hasn't heard any uproar about respect for military law.

“The disgusting part was he was breaking the law and not one person was saying anything. He came forward on a social program in a partisan debate. It's illegal,” Baldasaro said. “It had nothing to do with him being homosexual. If you want to do that stuff, do it in civilian clothes.”


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