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Look Out Congress, They’re Coming for You

Nick Popaditch "Cigar Marine"

Nick Popaditch "Cigar Marine"

James SimpsonJAMES SIMPSON: A common complaint we hear about members of Congress is that they have never served in the military. A total of 95 veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the National Guard are current House members (the 96th, John Murtha just died). This represents a mere 20 percent of sitting Members of Congress and is a record low. We can chalk this up as one good reason for Congress’s stunning ignorance regarding military matters.

“I will go to Washington to do battle against Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer and the rest of them. They have never seen anything like the Southern fried butt whipping that’s coming at them!” Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.)

Among the many encouraging signs for the nation as we head into the 2010 midterm elections is the number of first-time Republican candidates for Congress who are recent military veterans. There is even an organization supporting them: Iraq Veterans for Congress (IVC).
IVC was created in the 2008 election cycle to assist Marine Corps veteran Kieran Lalor in his bid to win New York’s 19th congressional district. While Kieran lost that year, the organization assisted the successful candidacies of Duncan Hunter, Jr. (CA-52) and Mike Coffman (CO-6).This year, IVC is supporting 36 vets. 33 are running for U.S. House seats, one is running for governor, another for lt. governor, and one for U.S. Senate. There are also a number of others running independently. If just those 33 House candidates won, it would increase veterans’ representation in the House by over 30 percent. Such a win could provide a backstop against the lunatic, anti-military policies of Congressional Democrats and the White House, and may add some much-needed spine to the House Republican caucus. A list of those running is provided at the end of this article.

These people are exemplary models of the best America can produce, but space considerations prevent me from describing them all in detail. There are a few among them however, whose stories are a bit “more equal,” so I am going to pick out one or two for special focus in the next few columns. Here’s the first:

Nick Popaditch Cigar Marine

Nick Popaditch

“Gunny Pop” Nick Popaditch, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps 1986, a year after graduating high school. He served as a tank commander during the first Gulf War and was honorably discharged in 1992. He re-enlisted in 1995, and from 1998 – 2002, served as a Drill Instructor at MCRD San Diego. In 2003, Nick shipped off to the Gulf to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) again as tank commander. Upon entering Baghdad, his unit became famous the world over for helping to topple Saddam’s statue. The picture of him above, smoking a cigar with Saddam’s statue in the background, earned him the moniker “Cigar Marine.”

Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch returned to Iraq for a second tour in 2004, and participated in the first assault on Fallujah in April. During that battle, Nick was hit in the head by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). This was actually caught on camera by nearby news crews. Nick was blinded by the wound, but due to the tireless efforts of medical staff and his indomitable spirit, his left eye was saved. Nick wrote a book, with co-author Mike Steere, about his experiences, Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander’s Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery. The book made the Commandant of the Marine Corps recommended professional reading list for all ranks, won The Military-Writers Book of the Year for 2009, and was a national book club selection. Nick’s unique command tactics and leadership in Iraq earned him the Silver Star.

Nick is running for a seat in the 51st Congressional District of California, a seat currently held by Bob Filner, one of the most liberal Democrats in the House and a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (read socialist). The choice couldn’t be clearer: a patriotic American versus a radical leftist who has been wreaking havoc in Washington, DC since 1992.

Time for regime change once again! And Gunny Pop is the one to topple this slug. Future issues will examine the testimonials of Allen WestDan GilyeatKatherine Jenerette and others. With folks like these on board there may yet be hope for our teetering Republic.

Here is a list of all IVC candidates. Check them out! U.S. House:  Justin Bernier (CT-5th) USN, Will Breazeale (NC-7th) USA, Diggs Brown (CO-4th) USA, Kevin Calvey (OK-5th) USA, Dan Gilyeat (KS-3rd) USMC, Tim Griffin (AR-2nd) USA, Wayne Harmon (IN-7th) USMC, Dr. Joe Heck (NV-3rd) USA,Jesse Kelly (AZ-8th) USMC, Adam Kinzinger (IL-11th) USAF, Todd Lally (KY-3rd) USAF, Patrick Murray (VA-8th) USA, Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski (MI-9th) USA, Brian Rooney (MI-7th) USMC,William Russell (PA-12th) USA, Steve Stivers (OH-15th) USA,Scott Taylor (VA-2nd) USN, Vaughn Ward (ID-1st) USMC, Allen West (FL-22nd) USA, Michael Crimmins (CA-53rd) USMC, Dave Evans(TN-6th) USA, Mike Grimm (NY-13th) USMC, Katherine Jenerette (SC-1st) USA, Quang Pham (CA-47th) USMC, Les Phillip (AL-5th) USN, Lang Sias (CO-7th) USN, Rick Barber (AL-2nd) USMC, Rick Crawford (AR-1st) USA, Steve Pearce (NM-2nd) USAF, Mike Pompeo (KS-4th) USA, John Loughlin(RI-1st) USA, Willie Vaden (TX-27th) USMC. U.S. Senate:  Conrad Reynolds (AR) USA. Candidates for governor/lt. governor:  Allen Weh (NM) USMC, Bill Connor (Lt Gov-SC) USA.

Businessman and Examiner.com columnist Jim Simpson is a former White House staff economist and budget analyst. His writings have been published in American Thinker, Washington Times, WorldnetDaily, FrontPage Magazine, DefenseWatch, Soldier of Fortune and others.

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  1. marty
    March 3rd, 2010 at 17:38 | #1

    Gunny is a true hero, and an inspiration to everyone. His website is popaditchforcongress.com, and he wrote a great memoir called ONCE A MARINE.

    Go get em, Nick!

  2. militaryhistory
    March 11th, 2010 at 14:58 | #2

    Nick Popaditch is an honest, conservative, old-fashioned, pro-American, combat-decorated US Marine. He believes in a strong military, strong borders, low taxes, smaller government. Nick is truly the real deal.

    To learn more about Nick, read his book “Once a Marine” (www.onceamarine.com). It is all about his values and character, and will tell you everything you need to know.

    For information on his bid for congress, check http://www.popaditchforcongress.com. You can go to his live endorsement page to add your name at http://www.popaditchforcongress.com/endorsements.html.

    To watch a great interview with Nick on Red Eye, check http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/m/27462286/poppingoff.htm#1=popaditch.

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