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IOWA

Perry links himself to military, cites record

COUNCIL BLUFFS — Rick Perry is turning to his military service as a selling point to voters looking for a veteran in the Republican presidential campaign.

The Texas governor is looking for a second wind with mere weeks until Iowa starts the nominating process with its Jan. 3 caucuses. He is lagging in the polls and working hard to recapture the fervor of his August entry into the race.

Heading into Thursday’s debate in Sioux City, Mr. Perry is expected to highlight his service. He is looking to use his record to tap into veterans, older voters who helped Sen. John McCain win the nomination in 2008. The only other military veteran in the GOP race is Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

WHITE HOUSE

Administration stands by Marine’s award

President Obama is standing by his award of the Medal of Honor to a Marine in the Afghanistan war despite a published report charging exaggerations and untruths in the official account of the Marine’s bravery.

Mr. Obama presented the award to Sgt. Dakota Meyer on Sept. 15, calling him the “best of a generation” that joined the military after the Sept. 11 attacks. He described a day in 2009 when he said Sgt. Meyer braved enemy fire in eastern Afghanistan to save U.S. and Afghan comrades.

But McClatchy Newspapers said its review of documents turned up numerous assertions that are “untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the award was based on sworn testimony and reviewed by the Marine Corps, and Mr. Obama “remains very proud” of Sgt. Meyer and his “remarkable acts of bravery.”

The Marine Corps also said it stands by the process that determined Sgt. Meyer deserved the medal.

“The rigorous award investigation process focuses on source information from direct eyewitnesses and other contemporaneously or near-contemporaneously recorded information,” said the statement from Marine headquarters at the Pentagon.

The Marines acknowledged that the process was not flawless.

“Because of the nature of the events supporting awards for valor, it is normal for minor discrepancies to appear when reviewing the source information and collecting eyewitness statements,” it said.

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