The Daily Times: Lentz gets backing of major general

UPPER DARBY – A retired Army major general formerly in charge of training Iraqi troops teamed up with a local Iraq War Purple Heart recipient Saturday in endorsing state Rep. Bryan Lentz’s campaign for the 7th Congressional District.

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, commanding general of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, and retired Army Capt. Shannon Meehan, a Secane native and former tank platoon leader for the 1st Cavalry Division, endorsed Lentz, D-161, of Swarthmore, in front of more than 50 veterans and supporters at the Upper Darby American Legion Post 214.

An outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s approach to training Iraqi units since his retirement in 2006, Eaton said the need for a veteran’s leadership in Washington, DC was severe. During his more than 30-year tenure in the Army, Eaton served as Lentz’s division commander while both were stationed in Bosnia during the late 1990s.

“We have had a problem in the last decade where we have gone on operations that are not necessarily in support of vital national interests,” said Eaton. “It’s the veteran who truly understands the implications of armed conflict.”

Raised in what he called a family of “Dwight Eisenhower Republicans,” Eaton said the party his family loved no longer exists.

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