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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