(WMC) - A Mississippi congressional candidate is accused of being dishonest about his service record to benefit his campaign.
Ron Dickey is a veteran from Horn Lake. He claims to be a Green Beret veteran on several of his campaign sites.
Green Beret Veteran Randal McKee's unit was based out of Mississippi. He called the WMC Action News 5 Investigators after learning that Dickey may not have been entirely truthful.
Look down McKee's hallway, or in his front yard, and you can tell he loves his country after serving 30 years.
"Twenty-six of those years was in special forces," McKee said.
McKee is an Army Special Forces Green Beret. It's one of the most prestigious honors in the military and requires years of special selection and training.
He knows few people are even selected for training; even fewer make it. That's why he was outraged when he recently saw Mississippi congressional candidate Ron Dickey's biography.
Dickey is from Horn Lake and is running against incumbent Alan Nunnelee to represent Mississippi's first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"He needs a full apology to everyone who has ever worn the Green Beret," McKee said.
On several online campaign pages and on social media, Dickey writes he's a Green Beret veteran who served in special forces and in the gulf war.
"I do admit what happened 20 and 21 years ago might have not been framed perfectly," Dickey told WMC Action News 5 in an attempt to clarify his military service.
WMC Action News 5 obtained a copy, and it shows Dickey was assigned as a specialist to a special forces unit as a cook.
Dickey says he was issued a Green Beret from the Army and was allowed to wear it proudly, but he admits he never went through specialized training like McKee and his men, who graduated as Green Berets.
"I've got a lot of buddies, several of them laying in Arlington, several of them at cemeteries near their hometowns, that proudly wore that Green Beret into battle," McKee said.
Dickey has already started clarifying his biography after getting bombarded with calls from angry vets across the country. He's apologizing for any misunderstandings.
"Everybody has an opinion, and everybody might consider that to be dishonest, but the fact still remains, the department of the army issued me that Green Beret," Dickey said.
Some veterans feel Dickey was stretched the truth to gain campaign money and votes. Both are claims that Dickey denies. He said he wants to help veterans as a congressman if he's elected.
"I did not deliberately try to lie to the public, the only thing I did was generalize my statements, and I'm here on Action News 5 to clarify that," Dickey said.
It is clarification that Green Beret veterans like McKee aren't buying.
"To claim that distinction, it's outrageous," McKee said.
Dickey promised to continue to update his social media profiles.