CONCORD — Military supporters of U.S. Senate Republican candidate Don Bolduc of Stratham were crying foul at a fundraising appeal Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently made on behalf of U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s reelection.
In the e-mail, Schumer had criticism for all four Republicans who have declared or who are expected to run for the seat, starting with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of Windham, who has said he could announce his plans this week.
“Shaheen’s other opponents? One is Andy Martin, a serial litigant and self-proclaimed ‘king of the birthers,’ who for years made a hobby of suing the state of Hawaii in pursuit of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.” Schumer wrote. “Another is Bill O’Brien, who once compared the Affordable Care Act to the Fugitive Slave Act. Then there’s also Don Bolduc, a retired military general who would fit right in with the authoritarian culture that’s taking root in Washington.”
Bolduc is a 36-year Army veteran who has received two awards for valor.
He became the first active-duty leader to reveal he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of 10 tours in Afghanistan.
Bolduc has said a military superior had advised him not to go public with his struggles.
He was among the legendary “horse soldiers” — U.S. special operations forces who invaded Afghanistan on horseback following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They were the subject of the Hollywood blockbuster movie, “12 Strong.”
A retired brigadier general, Bolduc served as combined joint special operations component commander in Afghanistan, deputy director for U.S. Africa Command and worked for Special Operations Command-Africa. His honors included receiving five Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
Rusty Bradley served under Bolduc, a resident of Stratham and Bradley wrote, “The Lions of Kandahar: A Story of a Fight Against All Odds” about the Special Forces struggles in Afghanistan.
Maj. Bradley was wounded during the Battle of Sperwan Ghar in command of a Special Forces A-team on his third combat tour as a Special Forces team leader.
After Schumer’s e-mail appeal for Shaheen, Bradley, a retired resident of Fort Bragg, N.C., wrote a commentary and sent it to Bolduc’s campaign.
“Respectfully considering Mr. Schumer’s vast political career, I can clearly articulate something to the voters that he cannot whimsically label or dispute, I have personally served with Don Bolduc at war. I can speak to the character and leadership of the man in good times and the bad. Can you Mr. Schumer?” Bradley wrote.
“I have a far better field of view for the content of the man’s character and leadership than Mr. Schumer will ever have.”
Bradley charged that Schumer’s letter was an insult to all veterans.
“Your blatant disregard for the service that others have provided this country is a perfect example of the leadership void that actually needs to be filled, with actual leaders,” Bradley wrote.
“Don Bolduc will bring a rare style of leadership that Washington so badly needs, one where people listen and educate themselves before they speak or vote.”
A spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party declined comment when asked about Schumer’s appeal.