By Tim White and Ted Nesi
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Embattled state Rep. Daniel Gordon did not receive the Purple Heart or serve in the Middle East but did spend four years as a U.S. Marine, according to military records obtained Friday by the Target 12 Investigators.
The records show Gordon served in the U.S. Marine Corps from June 1987 to November 1991, specializing as an aircraft technician and achieving the rank of private first class. He receives a military pension of $123 a month, a VA spokeswoman confirmed.
Gordon was stationed at four U.S. bases in South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and California. His only overseas service was six months at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan, according to the records. Gordon had told reporters he sustained shrapnel injuries outside Baghdad during the first Gulf War.
The Portsmouth lawmaker received two awards – a National Defense Service Medal and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon – but no Purple Heart, the records show. The Associated Press first reported the discrepancies earlier Friday.
The date of birth on Gordon’s official legislative biography also appears to be incorrect. It says his birthday is May 12, 1969, but police and military records list it as April 12 of that year.
The biography also contains a minor error about Gordon’s educational background. He took a digital course through San Diego State University in the fall of 2006, not 2005 as listed, university spokesman Greg Block told Target 12.