Politics

Campaign 2010: Robert Bentley says he’s not trying to mislead on military service

Pat McMahon Contributor

Republican candidate for governor Robert Bentley is getting accused on talk radio of creating the false impression that he was stationed in Vietnam while serving in the military.

In a campaign ad, Bentley talks about serving his country “with honesty and integrity.” The ad’s video shows a military aircraft and the words “Hospital Commander Vietnam War.” Some callers to talk radio shows have complained that they thought he served in Vietnam.

Bentley’s biography on his campaign website says he joined the Air Force in 1969, but his service was as a medical officer and then the commander of the hospital at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina.

But Bentley’s website also includes one newspaper article about his campaign that refers to him as a “Vietnam veteran.”

In an interview today, Bentley said he served as interim commander at the hospital for about three months. He said he treated people wounded in Vietnam, but has never said he served in Vietnam.

“I told my ad people, I want you to be very careful on your wording,” he said.