By Ryan Deto
PITTSBURGH — Republican Congressional candidate Sean Parnell first catapulted into fame for co-writing a book called Outlaw Platoon, which is a war memoir of Parnell’s time spent as an infantry platoon leader in the Army during the Afghanistan War.
The book chronicles his experiences in battle from 2006-2007, and has spent time on the New York Times Best Seller List. Parnell was awarded two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his service.
During his congressional campaign for Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, which includes such Pittsburgh suburbs as Mt. Lebanon, Penn Hills and the North Hills, the western Allegheny County suburbs, as well all of Beaver County, Parnell has highlighted his military experience as a virtue. He’s also hawked his book in campaign ads. He is running against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb , who is a Marine veteran.
But when it comes to some other U.S. veterans of the wars following Vietnam, he has some harsh rhetoric. And it’s being called out by at least one national veterans group.
In a September 2019 appearance for RangerUpVideo’s YouTube channel, Parnell says he has met a lot of veterans who come back and “feel like the country owes them something for their service.” Parnell announced his congressional run in October 2019.
“I’m just like, you volunteered to do this, you volunteered to serve, so it’s like, you should be thankful that you live in a country that appreciates it and loves it, thanks you for it,” said Parnell during the video clip of the show. “But at the end of the — the truth of the matter is, they don’t owe you anything, because you volunteered for this.”
Parnell spoke Monday night, during the opening night of the Republican National Convention, where he slammed Democrats for their “contempt for the middle America,” Fox News reported.
“Where Democrats once stood for hard-working, law-abiding Americans who displayed our flag with pride, this New Democrat party considered them uneducated racists, clinging to guns and Bibles,” Parnell said during his Monday night speech to the RNC, Fox News reported. “The party of Harry Truman became the party of hedge fund managers, Hollywood celebrities, tech moguls and academia — bloated with contempt for middle America.”