HELENA (AP) — The talk in American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War halls and barrooms across Montana has been about Sen. John Walsh since the Democrat linked a cribbed research project he wrote in 2007 to post-traumatic stress disorder.
How those veteran voters respond means a lot to Walsh, who has built his election campaign for the Senate around his 33-year career in the National Guard and his proposals to help veterans and their families.
The reaction so far has been a mixed bag of condemnation, sympathy and shrugs.
"I think veterans feel for him," said Dave Mihalic, a Missoula resident, former U.S. Army captain and president of the Western Montana Military Officers Association. "There are core values, there are principles at stake. It's an unfortunate situation he finds himself in."
But is PTSD an excuse or a legitimate factor in the apparent plagiarism in Walsh's strategy research project written for the U.S. Army War College?
"I don't think we can determine that. It's the Army War College that has to determine that," Mihalic said.
Details in Monday's Havre Daily News.