As the smears against Ryan Zinke continue to arrive, we feel it's time to put some perspective on the congressional race (see "Zinke zinged," May 15).
It's pretty easy to represent yourself as the true American in the race, but it's a whole lot tougher to put your life on the line to defend the principles of freedom in the fight against terrorism. Congressional candidate Matt Rosendale pretends to shoot down a drone aircraft in his television ad to prove how tough he is. But Rosendale's negative gimmickry pales in comparison to Zinke's decorated record of defending this nation's freedoms. Zinke's patriotism is no act.
While Rosendale was making his millions in Maryland, Zinke was risking his life for our nation as a Navy SEAL. It is deeply offensive for us, all military veterans who have known Ryan for most of his life, to see him attacked by someone who has never worn the uniform of this great country.
It's also extremely revealing to compare campaigns. Typical of someone whose character is proven through his life experiences, Zinke has remained positive, while Rosendale stoops to new lows with each vicious attack.
Earlier this spring, Ryan Zinke stood up and delivered a fitting and moving eulogy for his mentor, Sen. Bob DePratu, a true Montana statesman. It seems only fitting that we who were friends of Bob's now stand up as DePratu would have done in a forthright defense of Zinke, as fine, brave and capable a man as any of us have known.
We will vote for real character over character assassination. Ryan Zinke is a genuine and proven leader with the guts to think independently and the will to fight to get this country back on track. He is exactly who we need in Congress.