As the SC05 Congressional race between Republican Ralph Norman, a Real Estate Developer and SC House Member, and Democrat Archie Parnell, a Tax Attorney and former Attorney for the DOJ, heats up, things have gotten interesting. This morning the Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party Trav Robertson sent out a press release questioning Ralph Norman’s votes concerning Law Enforcement and Veterans.

Throughout his time in office, Ralph Norman has voted against helping the law enforcement professionals who protect South Carolina, Chairman Robertson said.  My God, I can’t imagine what he would do to our veterans benefits if he’s elected to Congress.  I hope and pray that we won’t have to find out the hard way.

That is a damning statement, but what exactly did Ralph Norman say concerning Police who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD?

Any of us could go back here, get a crayon and a coloring book and start chewing on the desk, and we would be deemed mentally incompetent.

Is he serious? Apparently he is. His voting record also shows his disdain for those who are injured in the line of duty. When voting against allowing Police and Deputy Sheriffs who have heroically survived a deadly encounter and suffer due to having their partner die in their arms, Norman said the officers should not receive any benefits for PTSD because they “knew it was coming.”

As a Veteran who has battled PTSD for 10 years since returning from Iraq, a Veteran who has survived multiple suicide attempts, PTSD is real and it doesn’t come from chewing on crayons. This is clear evidence he has no understanding of PTSD; PTSD does not make you mentally incompetent.  The fact that an elected official thinks it is appropriate to dismiss hundreds of thousands of Veterans and Law Enforcement Professionals who suffer daily for their service is abhorrent.

Veterans especially, have fought for decades for those like Ralph Norman (who has never served) to understand mental illness in general, but PTSD in particular. We have made headway in reducing the stigma of seeking treatment while in the military and following our service. We cannot afford a Congressman who doesn’t believe PTSD is real. Even more disturbing is his belief that those who are ordered into combat by our elected officials should expect to be injured and therefor it isn’t the government’s responsibility to treat or pay disability makes Ralph Norman unqualified to hold the office of Congressman from the Great State of South Carolina.

Will Ralph Norman’s first bill be to eliminate the Purple Heart, since he believes anyone injured should expect to be injured, why recognize injuries at all? I hate to break it to Mr. Norman, but this is America, one of the reasons this country is great is because of the sacrifices men and women in uniform make every single day.

As Americans we support our Veterans and Law Enforcement, especially those injured fighting violent criminals and terror around the globe. If you are willing or eager to send our best, brightest, and most patriotic citizens to fight ISIS, you better be willing to help them recover from injuries received by the enemy. If Ralph Norman is unwilling to do this simple and honorable thing, I cannot in good conscience recommend any Veteran, family of a Veteran, or anyone who cares for and respects our Veterans and Law Enforcement vote for Ralph Norman to be a Congressman for SC05 or any district.