Jeanne Ives, who is running for the Illinois House in a four-way Republican primary, has this to say to those who accuse her of overstating her military record: "Shame on people who didn't serve and don't understand that anybody who served is supporting the mission of the combat unit."
Ives, 47, of Wheaton is running in the west suburban 42nd Representative District. The other candidates are Dave Carlin, 36, of Naperville; Laura M. Pollastrini, 44, of Carol Stream; and Chris Hage, 39, of Wheaton.
Ives' website describes her war record this way: "As an officer in the United States Army, she served overseas during the first Gulf War and her last assignment was as an ROTC instructor at Wheaton College."
Ives, who was stationed in Germany during Desert Storm, said she never intended to imply she was in a combat arena.
"I've never stated that I was in the Gulf War, and I've never used the term Gulf War veteran," she said.
When a battalion goes into combat, those left behind pick up many additional duties, which contributes to the war effort, Ives said. Her unit was responsible for providing transportation support for the troops in the Mideast.
In fact, the Army awarded her an overseas ribbon, she said. "I served overseas, and I have never said anything different other than that," she said.
In an e-mail to the Sun-Times, she wrote, "I am proud to have graduated from West Point and served my country overseas during Desert Storm. In the Transportation Corps, we have a saying that 'Nothing Happens Until Something Moves.' All soldiers supporting the war effort should be commended for signing-up and never knowing where they may be called to serve. As it is, it takes an entire organization to support combat soldiers, sailors, and airmen, which was my mission during Desert Storm."
Carlin, one of the other candidates, said, "I respect Jeanne's military service. I am unsure of the specifics, but I commend her for wearing the uniform and serving."
The district includes parts of West Chicago, Winfield, Wheaton, Warrenville, Lisle, Carol Stream and Naperville.
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