Tom Reed Says Military Service is a Disqualification to Serving in Congress, Homeownership More Important: Commander John Plumb and NY veterans respond
In an interview with Gannett, Reed claimed Commander Plumb’s service in the Navy, US Navy Reserve, and at the Pentagon disqualified him to represent New York because it required him to live outside the district. Reed then asserted homeownership is the real qualification for anyone looking to serve in Congress because it shows the truest commitment to the community.
“His house is his commitment to the area," Reed said. “And, you know, he’s obviously served the country in his Navy career, which I applaud. But ... I’ve been (in the district) for generations. I’ve been there with my family." [Ithaca Journal, 5/20/16]
Commander Plumb, a 4th generation Western New Yorker, said in response to Reed’s derisive attacks “No matter where I served – whether I was in the depths below the Arctic Circle or in the deserts of the Middle East – New York was always in my heart because in the military, home is what we fight to protect and defend every day we put on the uniform. If Congressman Tom Reed had any integrity, and if Congressman Tom Reed knew the first thing about service to country, he would understand this and never question my commitment to New York. It’s disappointing to see Congressman Reed disparage my service for his own political gain – but I guess his behavior is par for the course for a dishonest Washington politician who is desperate to get reelected but has no record worth defending.”
Having observed Reed's superficial and poor record and lack of understanding regarding the real needs of veterans, local veteran James Murphy said, “With these comments, Congressman Reed has shown us what he truly is: a self-serving Washington politician who would rather denigrate Commander Plumb’s military service, than defend his own record in Congress. I didn’t fight for and defend my country so cowards like Tom Reed would question the commitment of the men and women who have worn our country’s uniform.”
Stephen Keefe, the former Mayor of Fredonia, NY and a veteran, disappointed with Reed’s remarks said, “The only candidate in this race who is unfit to serve in Congress is Tom Reed. This isn’t about his policy positions or his party affiliation. It’s because he displays such disrespect for our military men and women who leave their homes and families when our country calls on them to serve. They understand that service to country is more important than service to self – a lesson Congressman Reed has failed to grasp. Reed also fails to understand that the goal of our communities is to welcome our young people back to their homes. Also, to criticize John Plumb's education and experience for political gain shows disregard for our native son or desperation over Mr. Plumb's overwhelming qualifications for Congressman in the 23rd District.”
Local veteran and business owner Mark Puckhaber asked this in response to Congressman Reed’s attacks, “At 18 I left home to serve in the Navy. I scarified so others wouldn’t have to, just like Commander John Plumb and the thousands of other veterans in New York. I want to know if Congressman Reed thinks my time in the Navy makes me less of a New Yorker, less a member of the community, less than those who have never worn the uniform – because that’s the message that came through loud and clear when he attacked John Plumb and questioned his commitment to New York because John had the courage to go where his country asked him, even when it meant leaving New York, his home, and his family.”