‘Cadet Carson’ never suited up


The vetting of the latest Republican presidential front runner has begun.

It’s gotten a bit bumpy for the noted neurosurgeon.

Politico reports that contrary to what he’s written about himself, Dr. Ben Carson never was offered a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy. He didn’t even apply for admission, Politico reports.

Carson, though, says he was told when he was 17 years of age that if he applied, he’d be offered the full ride. Who told him? He said it was Army Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just finished commanding U.S. forces in Vietnam.

So … did the good doctor lie, fib, “misremember,” or what?

Carson’s record is under scrutiny more than ever now for a simple reason. He’s among the leaders of a still-packed GOP presidential field of candidates.

If he made it all up, then he’s likely guilty of something approaching stolen valor … you know, when folks make up war stories about themselves. It’s more or less what former NBC News anchor Brian Williams did when he claimed to have to been shot down by an Iraqi rocket-propelled grenade in 2003; oops, didn’t happen, we found out later.

Still, one shouldn’t be allowed to get away even with “misremembering” such details about one’s life when he seeks to become president of the United States of America.

It kind of reminds me of when Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton once said he didn’t remember getting a draft notice. Interesting. As one who did get such a notice from Uncle Sam, I can speak for others who did as well that you do not forget getting such a letter.

Dr. Carson has some serious explaining to do. His campaign now says he didn’t get the scholarship or the appointment to West Point.

Now, let’s hear from you, Dr. Carson. Did you make it up?


3 thoughts on “‘Cadet Carson’ never suited up”

  1. Hey John, when I was in high school a recruiter told me he could get me into the Marines but the Marines have no record of my application. Know why? Cause I never enlisted. Am I guilty of stolen valor?
    Same story with Carson. The only difference with him is that he used the term “scholarship” to describe what at every other school in this country save two would be called a scholarship: getting free tuition for service on an athletic team, for some work exchange or, in the case of the military academies, signing away a number of years of his life to military service (something every cadet receives).
    I usually leave your opinions to yourself only commenting to add information you neglect or correct facts you get wrong. But accusing Carson of stolen valor for saying he chose not to attend West Point is beyond the pale ridiculousness.
    Nobody’s service or sacrifice is cheapened in any way. He did not claim heroic acts or try piggybacking off someone else’s bravery. He said he was offered an opportunity to attend West Point free of charge and chose not to accept it.
    Other than calling this offer a scholarship or pegging the date of a February event as May (recalled after two decades), is there anything to refute his claim?

  2. Subject: New front-runner Ben Carson faces closer scrutiny of his life story from The Washington Post


    hope you and Kathy are well.

    I like what I have seen and heard so far about Ben Carson. My brother, John, who is a “died in the wool” democrat, commented to me last Saturday that he thought Carson was a screw ball. For the first time, I responded that I liked Carson.

    I still try to stay out of politics, but was captured by your blog to pursue several angles on the story. I suspect you have already seen this alternative view.

    Keep up the good work and give Kathy my love.


    Your brother in Jesus,
    Jim Bankhead

    P.S. I am currently in Lynchburg, Va. with my daughter at her alma mater’s football game with Liberty University. Catherine is the Women’s tennis coach at Presbyterian College = PC
    or “the Blue Hose” Her husband, David, is on the football staff. I went here as well and met Cissy my senior year. Give everyone our love.

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