Top National U.S. Military Veterans Sign Letter Calling on Nicholson to Apologize for Disparaging Veterans

May 09, 2018

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

Top National U.S. Military Veterans Sign Letter Calling on Nicholson to Apologize for Disparaging Veterans

MADISON — Today, top national U.S. military veterans signed a joint open letter calling on Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson to apologize for questioning the “cognitive thought process” of Democratic service members and veterans.

Nicholson, a Marine captain veteran, has been facing significant backlash from veterans from all backgrounds after he asserted that his military service “did not mean much” to Vukmir, and subsequently questioned the “cognitive thought process” of veterans who don’t share his own political viewpoint on a later radio show.

Since then, Nicholson has doubledtripled, then quadrupled down on those comments, including sending a campaign fundraising email in which he again reaffirmed, “I won’t back down,” then tried to raise money off of his attack on veterans.

Below is the letter:

A Joint Open Letter to Address U.S. Senate Candidate Kevin Nicholson’s Disparaging Remarks Towards Democratic Veterans

We, the undersigned, are calling on Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidate, Kevin Nicholson, to apologize for his comments that disparaged our nation’s veterans.

Last week, Mr. Nicholson, a United States Marine Corps veteran, said that he questioned the “cognitive thought process” of veterans who are Democrats. When pressed to apologize by fellow Republican veterans, Mr. Nicholson refused and instead doubled down on his comments, writing, in part, “I’ll never apologize for saying that, ever.”

Each of us has served in the military and we all hold a deep respect for its creed that teaches us to put aside our political differences, work together and pursue a mission that’s bigger than ourselves. The military shapes many veterans to become our nation’s model leaders, whether it’s in our communities, business or at all levels of government.

That is why we are extremely disappointed to see Mr. Nicholson, a candidate running for the distinguished office of U.S. Senate, not just disrespect our nation’s veterans, but crudely do so as a means to advance his own political career.

Mr. Nicholson knows that military service crosses party lines. It is beneath any serviceman or woman to politicize veterans and assert that patriotism is limited to members of one political party.

Our politics are more divided than ever, and polarizing comments like those made by Mr. Nicholson only sow deeper divisions in our country.

For these reasons, we call on Kevin Nicholson to apologize for his remarks.

Sincerely in Service,

The Undersigned

U.S. Senator Max Cleland (Ret.)


U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth

Lt. Colonel, Illinois Army National Guard, Retired


Congressman Seth Moulton
U.S. Marine veteran


Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)


Brigadier General Roosevelt Barfield, USA (Retired)


Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)


Stephen Cheney

Brigadier General, USMC (Ret)


Rear Admiral Christopher Cole USN (Retired)


Jan H Donatelli
Former Navy pilot and DNC Veterans and Military Families Council Co-Chair


Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)


Rear Admiral Janice M. Hamby, USN (Retired)


Ken Harbaugh

Former Navy pilot


Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)


Jason Kander

Former Army Captain and President of Let America Vote


Saif Khan

Vice Chair, Veteran’s Issues and Legislation, DNC Veterans and Military Families Council

Iraq War veteran, served as a Combat Engineer in Mosul during 2004-2005


Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)


Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)


Mayor Thomas McDermott (Hammond, IN)

Six-year U.S. Navy Submarine veteran


Patrick Murphy
Former Acting Secretary of the Army


Lieutenant General Charles P. Otstott, US Army (Retired)


Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)


Max Rose

CPT, IN Army National Guard


Terron Sims, II

CPT, US ARMY (former)

Vice Chair, Recruitment, DNC Veterans and Military Families Council


Brigadier General Paul Gregory Smith, USA (Retired)


Rear Admiral Michael E. Smith, USN (Retired)


Maura Sullivan

Former Marine Corps Captain; Assistant Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs


Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)


General Johnnie Wilson, USA (Retired)


Rear Admiral Richard E. Young, USN (Retired)

The above mentioned are retired or inactive members of the U.S. Military. Use of their military rank and job titles does not imply endorsement by the  Department of Defense nor the Departments of Army, Navy or Air Force nor the U.S. Marine Corps.