Former Liberty Belles model turned politician Anna Paulina Luna, has had her fair share of problems on the trail to becoming the congress woman for Florida’s 13th congressional district. However, controversial accusations of potential stolen valor raise serious questions that the candidate has yet to address. Why not?
On April 29th, Ian Macdonald of Media Right News leveled an accusation of stolen valor directed at Anna Paulina Luna who formerly served as a U.S. Air Force Airman. His accusation did not insinuate that Luna was not a former service member — in fact it acknowledges her unquestionable military service.
However, Macdonald posits that Luna’s photos depicting her as a tactical operator creates a disingenuous image of her for political gain. His accusation is evidenced by the lack of proof that she ever served in that particular capacity. Macdonald insists that this potentially fraudulent persona could run afoul of stolen valor laws and raises compelling concerns about the candidate’s viability.
Macdonald pins his case on the wikipedia definition of stolen valor which he quoted as, “a term for the behavior of military imposters: individuals who lie about their military service.” He bolsters his case by citing Florida statute 817.312. While it is irrevocably clear that Luna is a legitimate veteran who served in the military, it is unclear in what capacity she served. This distinction may matter.
A majority of military service members run logistical and administrative support and never even discharge a weapon in their line of duty. Conversely, only a small percentage see personal enemy contact.
Our society rightfully respects and honors all veterans, however public perception of a veteran’s characteristics can be influenced by understanding the service member has been through harrowing combat or administrative office work.
If a former service member running for office sat at a desk and never deployed to a dangerous location, while another candidate routinely took fire from insurgents and lived to tell the tale — there might be an impact on voting.
Because Luna’s campaign still hasn’t addressed this accusation, the question remains — is Luna actually guilty of stolen valor by misrepresenting the capacity in which she served? Macdonald insists this could be a big problem for Luna if it’s found true.
However, with a little basic research it becomes clear that this accusation doesn’t warrant an answer. Luna was simply getting back to her modeling roots by doing a photo-shoot for a magazine.