(Note: Jeffrey Maryak served with state Rep. Dale Kooyenga in Iraq.)

Dear Senator Shilling,

You call him Representative Kooyenga, I call him Sir. A title I proudly use as I have seen a remarkable American serve our country in combat.

First, I know Dale Kooyenga’s character as it was tested in the most trying environment. He is among the best Army officers I have worked with in my twenty-one year career.

Second, is the fact that you made false, unsubstantiated accusations that followed an incident where there was a bomb threat in the Capitol over three years ago. When we were deployed to Iraq with then LT Kooyenga, our brother, MAJ Dwayne Kelley, was killed by a bomb that was placed in a public building during a government meeting. You decided to paint a picture of a damaged veteran because it fits nicely into your broken view of veterans as not contributing members of our society but damaged souls unfit to lead.

You don’t only owe Dale an apology, but you owe all of us an apology. This is just another example of divisive, negative politics tearing us apart. Be better.


Jeffrey Maryak MSG(r)