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By Greg L | 3 June 2012 | Prince William County | 17 Comments

The post immediately before this shows a picture of a memorial brick installed on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps bearing the name and office of Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, which was paid for with taxpayer dollars.  The more I reflect on this, the more outraged I become.  Who would do such a thing in a place that honors the memory and sacrifice of those Marines who honorably served our country, many of whom have given their lives or endured unimaginable hardships?

These bricks are installed at various points along a path where words representing the values of the Marine Corps are etched into the walkway.  Walking over words like honor, integrity, commitment, courage you come to places where engraved bricks recognize the contribution of museum donors and often are used to honor the memory of Marines who nobly served our country.  On the grounds, and within the museum itself are testaments to the enormous number of those who lived by these values, wore the uniform of the Marine Corps, and put their lives on the line for all of us.  What so many of these heroes did to protect us and our freedom nearly defies imagination.

This is a very special place for America.  It represents the very best of our country.

I don’t particularly care how much taxpayer money was used so Maureen Caddigan could have a soft campaign advertisement installed on the grounds there.  If it were a hundred thousand dollars of public money, or a single buck, to me it matters not.  What matters to me is that a politician would use any amount of taxpayer funds to tarnish the moral integrity of this monument for their own political gain.  What kind of sick individual would ever conceive of such a thing?

Here are service insignia representing the six thousand eight hundred servicemen who gave their lives on Iwo Jima.  Over here is an exhibit honoring the 31 officers and 1056 enlisted Marines who died at Bellau Wood on the first day.  And over here, please note that PWC Supervisor Maureen Caddigan personally contributed to the museum.

Except she didn’t.  That is a lie the Marine Corps was tricked into promoting for her.  She took money from the taxpayers and used it to buy memorial bricks with her name and office on them as a subtle campaign advertisement.

Using taxpayer dollars to promote your political career in a place that honors thousands of war dead, among testaments to their honor, commitment and courage.  It’s not quite the same thing as sticking yard signs in between tombstones at Arlington Cemetery, but it’s absolutely the same concept.  It demonstrates an utterly shocking and outrageous disregard to those who risked their lives for us.  Only an absolute monster would even consider such a thing.  Words to adequately describe someone who actually does it do not seem to exist.

Maureen Caddigan isn’t the only one who did this, Neabsco Supervisor John Jenkins, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel did this as well.  Caddigan was the spouse of a former US Army Colonel, which would suggest she have some grasp of what she was doing here in defaming those who served in the Marine Corps.  Jenkins was actually someone who did serve, and who should know better than anyone just how repugnant this little stunt is.  He earned a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters in Vietnam and saw up close and personal the sacrifices made by those who served our country.  He most certainly saw soldiers exhibit exceptional bravery, endure hardships almost none of us will never encounter, and sacrifice their lives.  What would possess someone of such demonstrated character and experience to dishonor the Marine Corps this way?  Inter-service rivalry certainly doesn’t explain something of this magnitude.

In both cases here we simply have longtime political hacks who have forgotten why they serve.  Political advantage for them clearly outweighs all other considerations.  If it appears that stealing money from taxpayers in order to advance their political position is possible, then it’s fine to crap all over the honor of those men and women of this storied service if it’ll accomplish the mission.  Get re-elected.  Gain political power.  Screw the Marines of Fallujah, Khe Sanh, and Guadalcanal. Taxpayers, screw you, too.

How can Maureen Caddigan and John Jenkins possibly serve as County Supervisors in Prince William County, proud home to Quantico Marine Corps Base, after such a shocking display of moral bankruptcy?  I believe they cannot, and should resign immediately.

Maureen Caddigan and John Jenkins, it’s time for you to go.  Now.

Photos courtesy of Sherrif of Nottingham in PWC blog

UPDATE: Both supervisors claim these bricks were paid for with personal funds and not county money.  That’s potentially plausible for Jenkins, whose budget request of $200 didn’t equal the $300 cost of the memorial bricks.  Caddigan’s exact budget request for $600 and the placement of two bricks makes me terribly suspicious, especially since taxpayer funds were used to install memorial plauques and bricks for both her and her husband in other locations, such as the Hylton Center and a park in Dumfries during the same period of time.  Caddigan has promised to provide documentation to substantiate her claim, and we’ll be eager to evaluate it.

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  1. Loudoun Insider said on 4 Jun 2012 at 9:49 am:
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    Of course they will never resign, but good call anyway.

  2. The Bulletproof Monk said on 4 Jun 2012 at 10:12 am:
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    Remove the bricks now!
    How dare they soil the USMC’s remembrance by equating trivial service that didn’t include life and limb.

  3. Loan Arranger said on 4 Jun 2012 at 10:14 am:
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    A quick resignation by both would be the honorable thing to do. I would expect no less from a former Army Officer… or the wife of one.

    On the other hand, if they hang in there bloggers will have plenty of amusement for as long as they do.

    It’s not the Hylton Center; however, a lot more people will be entertained.

  4. USMC vet said on 4 Jun 2012 at 10:20 am:
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    I think of all the good men who died for us who are remembered there. I think of the values they held that made it possible for them to do so much for our country. Then I see this crap. What sort of a-hole does this. They are scum. They don’t deserve a brick at the bottom a head on the rifle range at LeJeune.

  5. Fed Up Conservative said on 4 Jun 2012 at 4:51 pm:
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    If taxpayer monies were spent on this they certainly should be ashamed. I’d love to hear their side of the story.

  6. Skepp said on 4 Jun 2012 at 5:22 pm:
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    Most brick memorials are financed through donations from people who like to see their names on a brick, whether to be walked on or looked at.

  7. Loan Arranger said on 4 Jun 2012 at 8:32 pm:
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  8. Floyd The Pink Barber said on 4 Jun 2012 at 8:32 pm:
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    Maybe someone can ask them during Citizens’ Time tomorrow…

  9. NoVA Scout said on 5 Jun 2012 at 5:10 am:
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    What were the criteria for putting a brick in this wall (or walk or whatever it is)? Was the privilege reserved to Marine veterans? That doesn’t appear to be the case because Col. Caddigan is apparently an Army veteran, and he has a brick there. Was the privilege reserved to veterans of any of the Branches? Did Mrs.Caddigan use her position as a Supervisor to do something that other citizens were not permitted to do? The post (which is pretty wordy) implies that there was something wrong about her name being on a brick at this site. Would it have been OK if the brick didn’t refer to her being a County Supervisor?

    A lot of places do this sort of thing to raise funds. My daughter has her name on a brick at Ford’s Theatre. Nothing unusual about it. Of course, if MC got away with something here that wasn’t supposed to happen, then maybe it’s a story.

    The other element is whether this was paid for with public money. If so, it shouldn’t have been, but these Supervisors have used their discretionary funds for far worse things than supporting the Marine Corps Museum. If I were a PW taxpayor, I’d far rather see those funds used to buy a thousand bricks supporting the Marine Corps than on a lot of things those slush fund dollars get wasted on.

  10. citizenofmanassas said on 5 Jun 2012 at 9:31 am:
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    It’s sort of cheesy to use public money to make such a donation. I’m pretty sure she is not poor, and it would show a lot better on her part if she made a donation using her own money, rather then money from taxpayers.

  11. Loan Arranger said on 5 Jun 2012 at 9:43 am:
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    One more brick in the wall…


  12. Robert L. Duecaster said on 5 Jun 2012 at 10:47 am:
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    The funds in question are allocated to supervisors to maintain a staff and office that maintains communication with their constituents. The reason some Supervisors have so much of these discretionary funds available is because they are intentionally abdicating their duty to reach out to their constituents.

    Incidentally, the Marine Corps Museum solicits contributions for bricks in the name of persons other than deceased service members. Its website states:

    “For a donation of $300, your name, or that of someone you wish to honor or remember, will be engraved on a brick lining the winding pathways to rally points in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park, places to reflect upon the sacrifices Marines make to protect our nation.”

    So bricks with the Supervisors’ names on them, and paid for with taxpayer funds, are neither illegal nor contrary to the museum’s policy, they just are out of place there. It’s tantamount to passing gas in a yoga class. Something done for your own gratification at the expense of the sensibilties of others. As you imply, Greg, more class is expected from elected officials.

  13. Yawning Wolf said on 5 Jun 2012 at 11:52 am:
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    I have no problem saying that the museum is at fault here. They are the gatekeepers, and they are not doing their job.

  14. Wineplz said on 5 Jun 2012 at 2:22 pm:
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    I wouldn’t be so offended if they just had their names and rank on the brick. Adding on that they’re PWC Supervisors is very tacky. And if they did use taxpayer money, that’s just downright disgusting and cheap.

  15. Slick Willie said on 5 Jun 2012 at 2:59 pm:
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    “Disgusting and cheap.” Sounds like my women.

  16. NoVA Scout said on 6 Jun 2012 at 10:19 pm:
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    Agree with you on this one, CoM. However, I’m not sure that it is the abomination that the hand-wringing rhetoric in the post would make of it. If public monies were used, why not just buy a thousand bricks and have each one say “Grateful Citizens of Prince William County.” I still haven’t seen the source of the information that this is a taxpayor-funded brick.

  17. wannawin said on 11 Jun 2012 at 2:02 pm:
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    Y Wolf: the museum cannot possibly be responsible for vetting donors. One would assume the donors are honest, reasonable people who simply want to step up and advance a worthy cause. Sadly, they seem to be simply advancing their own self-interest.

    The Nebeasco (sp?) supervisor probably thinks he is bullet-proof on this. He has occupied that position for 30 years, after all. Really! As a democrat, he probably IS immune to criticism. The GOP members, well, not so much.

    Watch that space for the dems to sit back, lay the trap to ensnare the Rs on the board over these cheap and tawdry stunts. And then collect the rewards by replacing them with democRATS.

    Clean up your acts, Republicans. We expect far more from you than this objectionable behavior.

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