Democrats’ election outreach efforts to veterans may need to start with a refresher course on what U.S. troops look like.
For starters, they don’t wear Polish military uniforms.
Until Thursday, the Democratic National Committee’s “Veterans and Military Families” website had as its only picture a shot from White House photographers during President Obama’s visit to Warsaw in 2011.
The president had been cropped out, but faces of four elderly veterans wearing European-style military uniforms were visible above several paragraphs asserting the party’s “commitment to America’s veterans.” The Polish military’s White Eagle insignia was clear on the headgear of two of the veterans.
While largely harmless, the error points to a common complaint among U.S. veterans groups about the lack of knowledge of many Americans about military life, tradition and challenges.
The original image was posted in several White House photo streams and is captioned only as Obama visiting the Warsaw Tomb of the Unknown Soldier “with veterans,” likely leading to the mistake.
Within 90 minutes of being informed of the error by Military Times, Democratic officials swapped out the photo.
“We thank Military Times for bringing this to our attention and have now fixed the photograph on our website,” DNC spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement.
“Whether it’s passing a new GI Bill, tax credits for hiring veterans, or reducing homelessness among veterans, the Democratic Party’s commitment to our nation’s heroes is unwavering.”
The site now features a picture of veterans from the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company meeting with the president in the Oval Office in 2013.
It also boasts that Democrats have “worked to provide additional resources to the Veterans Administration” — the former name of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and another language misstep frequently pointed out by veterans groups.