July 26, 2014 10:48:06 PM
TUPELO -- A candidate for Congress from Mississippi's 1st District is drawing harsh criticism for having called himself a "Green Beret veteran."
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that Democrat Ron Dickey worked as a food service specialist as part of the support staff for special forces during three years of Army active duty ending in 1993.
Dickey released a statement Thursday apologizing to anyone he offended. He said he never served in special forces but did wear a green beret as part of his uniform.
Retired Sgt. Maj. George Davenport is among Dickey's critics. He said that he and many other special forces soldiers make a solid distinction between the elite special forces and the support staff such as cooks and mechanics.
"This happened over 21 years ago," Dickey said in comments published Friday in The Clairon Ledger. "At that time, the Army had different standards, the Department of the Army issued me a green beret."
Dickey of Horn Lake said the campaign workers who wrote his biography information didn't understand the difference, but he also acknowledged having the final say on what's published online.
His website and social media accounts are "run by my campaign. But I'm the ultimate decider of what gets put on and what's taken off."
Dickey faces incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee and two other candidates in the November general election.
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