A recent mailer sent out by the NC Democratic Party, and authorized by NC-2 Representative Tim Spear, has local vets hoppin’ mad.  On the front of the ad, Spear tells vets that “One Legislator is Covering Our Soldiers’ Backs”.  On the back, overlaying a photo of  soldiers, he says, “In combat, you always want another soldier covering your back.”  The ad might have been effective except for two facts.  First, Mr. Spear’s bio does not mention any military service.  Second, and much more troubling, is that the soldiers pictured in the ad are not American soldiers.  They’re Hitler’s soldiers.

To the casual reader, the ad may imply that Mr. Spear is a soldier covering the back of his fellow soldiers.  His candidate website, however, tells a different story.  It says that he went from high school to community college and then into law enforcement training.  He served as a state and local law enforcement officer for nine years and later was elected Clerk of Superior Court in Washington County.  He served in that capacity 24 years until he retired in 2005.  Does Mr. Spear consider his law enforcement experience soldiering?  The law enforcement officers that I spoke to said there is no comparison.  I’ll leave that to my readers to decide.

The photo of the WWII soldiers on the back is what really has the local vets up in arms.  Although you can’t see the soldiers’ faces or any distinct markings on their uniforms, local vets tell Truth or Dare that these are clearly World War II German soldiers.   ToD spoke with two prominent veterans in Dare County:   Army veteran, historian and military artifact collector Commissioner Jack Shea, and WWII, Korea and Vietnam veteran, decorated war hero and founder and President of Outer Banks Gun Club, Colonel William H. Beadling,

Shea said that the high-top leather boots are a ‘dead giveaway’.  Then there are the weapons.  “That’s a German assault rifle,” said Shea of the gun carried by the soldier on the left.  The rest of the guns?  “No doubt about it,” said Colonel Beadling, “those are German Mausers.”  And the helmets?  “That’s the first thing I noticed,” Beadling said.  The US military did not have helmets like that in WWII.  “These are World War II German soldiers,” Beadling firmly told ToD.  “I know what they look like.  I fought against ‘em.  I killed ‘em”.

“I don’t want those guys covering my back.”, Shea said.  Other veterans in Dare County and across the District have voiced outrage and disbelief.

A two-term Representative from Creswell, Mr. Spear is in a tight re-election battle with his opponent Bob Steinburg of Edenton.  What kind of effect will this have with voters?  With only a week to go before most voters go the polls, we’ll find out soon enough.

UPDATE:  This photo appears on IStock with the caption, “Re-enactors dressed as German soldiers advance towards the enemy”.  Someone deliberately chose a photo of German soldiers for this mailer.  Why?  Did they think no one would notice?  Mr. Spear needs to answer to the veterans of District 2 for this disgrace!

UPDATE2:  Outer Banks Voice reports that the marketing company takes “full” responsibility for the mistake and apologizes.  Will Mr. Spear take any responsibility for the ad?