Majewski addresses military record amid questions of Afghanistan deployment

JR Majewski held a brief news conference Friday to address his military record after an AP story questioned whether he had served in Afghanistan.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 9:27 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Republican Congressional candidate JR Majewski said Friday he has not lied with regard to his military service, a claim recently made by the Associated Press and touted by his opponent in Ohio 9th District, Democrat Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

According to the Associated Press story published earlier this week, AP obtained military documents that indicate Majewski never deployed to Afghanistan and instead completed a six-month stint loading planes at an air base in Qatar. Majewski has depicted himself as a combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. A listing of Majewski’s postings his campaign provided to AP do not list Afghanistan.

Majewski held a press conference at the Lucas County Republican Party headquarters Friday in an effort to dispute the reporting, saying his deployment locations are classified and would not appear in the publicly available record. He didn’t provide evidence of service in Afghanistan but told reporters his lawyers would “share everything in due time.” You can watch the press conference in full below.

Majewski said he flew in and out of the region during his time serving overseas. He worked to load planes and landed at other bases to transfer passengers and supplies.

“I flew into combat zones often, specifically in Afghanistan, and I served by country proud,” Majewski said Friday. “Let me be clear, anyone insinuating that I did not serve in Afghanistan is lying.”

An Air Force spokesperson told the New York Times there’s no way to verify whether he served in Afghanistan. Records obtained by the AP show that he received no commendations or medals that people who did have combat experience there would’ve received. The Air Force says that list might be incomplete. Majewski says he never applied for those medals and never asked for his records to be updated.

During Friday’s press conference in which he read from a statement, he also said he would work to streamline the process for veterans trying to obtain their records, as well as making it illegal to ‘besmirch’ members of the military if he is elected. Majewski also said he was considering suing AP reporters over the original story.

The Kaptur campaign issued a response shortly after the press conference, saying that Majewski had not provided evidence refuting the report.

“JR Majewski’s 7 minute press conference has left Ohioans with more questions than answers. His misleading claims need to be addressed, and it’s incumbent upon him to provide honesty and clarity - not continued evasiveness and deflection. He has provided no evidence refuting these reports, and Ohioans need to know the truth.” --Kaptur for Congress Campaign Manager Kyle Buda

After the AP story was published Wednesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee reportedly canceled nearly $1 million in TV ads it planned to run for Majewski in OH-9 leading up to the election.

You can watch the full press conference and find additional publicly-available documentation regarding Majewski’s service in the Air Force below.

Republican Congressional candidate JR Majewski said Friday he has not lied with regard to his military service, a claim recently made by the Associated Press.

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