State Veterans Affairs Secretary Lane Carson recently found himself in the hot seat — an uncomfortable situation for anyone, even if, like Carson, you weathered a war and came home with a Purple Heart. The position was both fair and unfair. It was fair because Carson allegedly reneged on an agreement with a legislator. It was unfair because the person lawmakers truly were unhappy with is Gov. Bobby Jindal, not Carson.
The source of the lawmakers’ angst: the veterans’ honor medals the Legislature created in 2008. Legislators say when they created the awards to recognize honorably discharged service personnel, they did not know the medals would become politicized by the governor.
Jindal is crisscrossing the state to hand out the medals at ceremonies in which he poses for photographs and gives speeches. The ceremonies are not billed as campaign events. Jindal is up for re-election next year, and the ceremonies give him an opportunity to meet thousands of voters.