A man who served in Vietnam with Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said in an editorial published the day after Thanksgiving that he knew Moore to be one of the better men with whom he served.
In what YellowHammerNews termed “an open letter to the voters of Alabama,” former Army officer Bill Staehle of Asbury Park, New Jersey told Alabama voters just what sort of person he feels Moore is, based on his close personal relationship during one of the most trying times in their lives – a time of war.
Mr. Staehle, who was a captain in the 504th Military Police Battalion in the 1970s, begins his testimonial with a strong endorsement of Moore’s character, at least as he knew him 45 years ago.
“I served with Roy Moore in Vietnam in 1971-72, where I knew him to be an altogether honorable, decent, respectable, and patriotic commander and soldier,” Staehle wrote. “I have had no contact with him since.”
Stahele, a New Jersey resident since returning from the war, says he served with Moore for four months in Vietnam, his first months in-country. “During that time, I grew to admire him,” Staehle insisted.
The writer goes on to note that he has been a practicing lawyer for 42 years, beginning his career as an assistant United States attorney, and is currently working as counsel for a major insurance company.
Staehle relates an experience that he says is reflective of Moore’s character. The former Army officer recounted a time when he and Capt. Moore were invited by a third officer to visit an establishment the two men did not know. The establishmnt turned out to be a brothel filled with young Vietnamese girls.
As soon as the pair fully understood where they had been taken, Staehle said that Capt. Moore was alarmed. “We shouldn’t be here. I am leaving,” Staehle says Moore told him.
So, Captains Staehle and Moore immediately left, without sampling the alluring “wares” they were exposed to that night.
“That evening, if I didn’t know it before, I knew then that with Roy Moore I was in the company of a man of great self-control, discipline, honor, and integrity,” Staehle said of Moore. “While there were other actions by Roy that reinforced my belief in him, that was the most telling.”
Staehle ended with a ringing endorsement of the Roy Moore he knew in a time of war.
I reject what are obvious, politically motivated allegations against Roy of inappropriate dating behavior. What I saw, felt and knew about him in Vietnam stands in stark contrast to those allegations.
I sincerely doubt that Roy’s character had changed fundamentally and dramatically in a few short years later. He deserves, in my view, to be heard on the issues that are important to the people of Alabama and our country.
Roy was a soldier for whom I was willing to put my life on the line in Vietnam if the occasion ever arose. Fortunately, it did not.
“I was prepared to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him then, and I am proud to stand by Roy now,” Staehle said as he closed his open letter.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.