Adam Weinstein gets it
It's disturbingly easy to misrepresent your military service in workaday America. In a culture that's disposed to think of all veterans as heroes (on the right) or victims (on the left), few civilians have the inclination or the intestinal fortitude to scrutinize someone else's service record and assent to judge another's honor or Americanness. As a consequence, few among us know what a long-form DD-214 is, much less how to read one. (It's a service member's discharge form, which shows the type of discharge, their rank, awards earned, and the like.)
That said, veterans themselves have a high sensitivity to, and low threshold for, military fakers. Which makes it difficult for Americans in the public sphere—politicians, say—to misrepresent their service.
Mark Kirk is learning that now.
You don't have to agree with the military's policies, nor do you have to celebrate every GI Joe or Jane as a hero, to believe that they're owed some explanation from a politician who seeks to profit by his own service.
Yes. (Although I take exception to the "lefties think military folks are victims" claim.)