Two days after a speech in which Sen. Barack Obama erroneously claimed his uncle helped liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp, inconsistencies remain regarding the much-touted military service of the presidential candidate’s family.
During the Memorial Day speech in New Mexico, Obama suggested his grandfather, the late Stanley Dunham, engaged in combat. But the Democratic senator’s autobiography says his grandfather never saw “real combat.” Also, Army records apparently contradict Obama’s claim his grandfather signed up the day after the Pearl Harbor attack.
As WND reported,
Obama told the New Mexico audience, which included military veterans, his uncle was part of the division that freed Auschwitz. But bloggers and the Republican National Committee immediately pointed out the Nazi death camp was liberated by the Soviet Union in January 1945. The campaign later said it actually was Obama’s great uncle who helped liberate Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp.
Obama several times has suggested his grandfather served in combat.
During Monday’s speech, Obama said: “My grandfather marched in Patton’s Army, but I cannot know what it is to walk into battle like so many of you.”
In a 2002 anti-war speech, Obama told the audience, “My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.”
But in his autobiography, “Dreams of My Father,” Obama states his grandfather never engaged in combat.
“Gramps returned from the war never having seen real combat, and the family moved to California, where he enrolled at Berkeley under the GI bill,” he writes. “But the classroom couldn’t contain his ambitions, his restlessness, and so the family moved again.”
Obama’s 2002 claim his grandfather enlisted in the Army the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor is contradicted by Army records showing Dunham signed up June 18, 1942 – six months after Pearl Harbor.
Obama’s campaign did not immediately return a WND request for clarification.
In his Memorial Day speech, Obama was using the stories of his grandfather and great uncle to promote better benefits for troops.
“Now obviously, something had really affected him deeply, but at that time there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain,” Obama said of his great uncle.
“That’s why this idea of making sure that every single veteran, when they are discharged, are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and given the mental health services that they need – that’s why it’s so important.”