SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Former Democrat State Representative and current Democrat Candidate for the District 7 State House seat, Ross Deal, took to social media on Wednesday to mock a disabled combat veteran for his PTSD diagnosis. Deal, who claims to be a Marine Corps veteran himself, posted the disparaging remarks on his official campaign Facebook page.
The remarks were made against RNM founder and Investigative Journalist, Clifton French. French is an Army and Indiana Army National Guard veteran who served on Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2007 as a machine gunner. French is a highly decorated veteran of the Iraq War, receiving (among other things) commendations for valor (Arcom with Valor) and the Combat Action Badge.
In one firefight in Mosul, Iraq, French received an award for “displaying unwavering courage in the midst of enemy fire.” French killed multiple anti-coalition forces that day during a fight where he should have lost his life. One enemy round even struck the barrel of his .50 caliber machine gun. His unit’s command had the end of the weapon chopped off and gave it to him as part of the award.
French was diagnosed with PTSD following his return home from combat, as is common among a vast number of combat veterans.
ROSS DEAL’S SOCIAL MEDIA MOCKING
Deal’s disparaging social media remarks regarding the veteran’s PTSD diagnosis came as the veteran was responding to the State House candidate posting a libelous meme about the veteran and investigative journalist. RNM will not repost the meme in this story, as it appeared to contain racist overtones regarding the veteran and his Black spouse.
However, RNM is posting the former State Rep’s response to the veteran, in which the Democrat Candidate posted on his page that French needed to “seek help” for responding to the meme and then posted a link to information about PTSD in veterans.
RNM then asked Deal for comment regarding the disparaging remarks regarding veterans with PTSD. Instead, the husband of another St. Joseph County Democrat official responded with more disparaging remarks toward the veteran and his PTSD diagnosis.
“Aww, good luck with your blog, buddy! Maybe if you print it out your mom will put it on the fridge.” Ryan Konrath, husband of the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Democrat Board Member Amanda Konrath, wrote.
Deal eventually limited the comments on his post, then deleted them.
Deal has been endorsed by several other Democrat candidates and officials, including Democrat St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman.
French has lost multiple friends to suicide as a result of PTSD. REAL News Michiana is dedicated to shining a light on the PTSD and veteran suicide epidemic. If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts or is struggling with PTSD, please contact the Veteran Crisis Hotline, your nearest VA or Vet Center.
French is an award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience who moved to the Michiana area from Tampa, Florida, for better services and education for his child with Down syndrome.
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