In an article in yesterday's SE Missourian, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson stated that Tommy Sowers "never commanded anybody" during his 11 year-army career.
Sowers is on Day 3 of his "100 Mile Road March" over Memorial Day weekend, along the route of the "100 Mile Yard Sale" on Highway 25. He began at the Veterans Memorial Wall in Jackson on Thursday morning and will finish walking Highway 25 at the Veterans Memorial in Kennett on Sunday evening.
After completing a previously scheduled chat Friday afternoon with 20 veterans at the Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, Sowers held a press conference, where he made the following statement:
"In this morning's edition of the SE Missourian, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson stated that during my time in Army I 'never commanded anybody'.
I served 11 years active duty in the Army, served as a Combat Engineer, Ranger, and Green Beret. I deployed once to Kosovo where I served as a platoon leader, and twice to Iraq where I served as the detachment commander of a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha "A Team". I was in command of enlisted men and women for years during my time as an officer. For anyone to say otherwise is either a purposeful misrepresentation of the facts, or a complete disregard for accuracy in public statements by an elected official.
Now this is a district of 70,000 veterans. Every time I meet new groups of people, including the 20 people I just spoke with, I ask them: "How many of you have served or have a family member that has?" and nearly everyone raises their hand, like they just did here in Bloomfield. Places like Southeastern Missouri are where the military comes from.
Congresswoman Emerson chose to disparage my military service with lies. As we begin a weekend of honoring those who sacrificed everything for our country, it not only insults me, but insults every veteran in this district, the state, and the country. Our service is not to be used as a throwaway line for political gain. Congresswoman Emerson owes me and everyone else in the military an apology for her Memorial Day lies."