Democratic Rep. John Murtha, A veteran of the Vietnam war, and the first Vet from that conflict to become a member of congress, died Monday at Virginia Hospital Center after complications from gallbladder surgery. Murtha was 77.
A statement released form the Congressman's office read:
"Congressman John P. Murtha (PA-12) passed away peacefully this afternoon at 1:18 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va. At his bedside was his family,"
Murtha's years in the Marines were called in to question in 2002 when two years after Murtha voted for the war in the Pennsylvania Democrat called for the United States to withdraw.Rep. Jean Schmidt, the newest member of the House at the time,was in favor of the war and commented to Murtha that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do." Schmidt's remarks caused and uproar on the House floor as lawmakers rose to Murtha's defense. Schmidt later said she didn't know that Murtha was a Marine. She withdrew her comments and apologized.
While it's usually a bad idea to bad mouth a veteran, and one should always show respect for those who serve their countries there are two such veterans I have no qualms in attacking despite their service. John Murtha and John Kerry. These two men are very poor examples of a soldier of the United States of America. Kerry fought in Vietnam, than came home and testified to the atrocities of the conflict. Years later, Kerry's former squad mates would dis him in a presidential campaign ad commonly referred to as the "Swift Boat" affair. Murtha is just as bad when he did exactly as Jean Schmidt suggested. He stated he wanted to cut and run.
Murtha's career was spotted with controversy. John Murtha has been scrutinized numerous times for his many pork barrell requests, the stream of shady donations including 2.5 million from the now defunct PMA lobbying firm. He would be criticized again in 2008 when he remarked "There's no question western Pennsylvania is a racist area." after being asked about Obama's chances of carrying Murtha's district.
no word yet on the funeral arrangements.