National Archives and Records Administration Data Shows Victoria Mitchner’s Military Service Length Inflated
By Space Coast Daily // October 24, 2018
Mitchner facing Bryan Lober For Brevard County Commission District 2 Seat
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Republican State Committeewoman Cheryl Lankes recently posted government documentation to the Brevard County Politics Facebook page showing District 2 Democratic County Commission candidate Victoria Mitchner’s claim of serving “for almost 15 years” in the U.S. Army is inflated.
The documentation was obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Mitchner is facing Brevard County Commission District 2 Republican candidate Bryan Lober in the General Election on Nov. 6.
In public speaking events and on printed materials ranging from signs to mailers, Mitchner has made military service a central theme of her campaign.
During Florida Today’s candidate forum held on August 7, Mitchner said, “I am also a U.S. Army combat veteran serving [sic] our country honorably for almost 15 years.”
According to an August 28 Florida Today article written by Dave Berman, Mitchner said her “five years in the Army, nearly 10 years in the Army Reserve…gave her the experience necessary to be a county commissioner.”
During a North Merritt Island Home Owners Association candidate forum on October 15, Mitchner stated, “I am also a U.S. Army combat veteran. I served a little bit over 14 years for our country.”
Mitchner said “14 years in the Army, with tours of duty in Kuwait and Iraq” in a recent mailer paid for and approved by her. Similarly, in an informational handout paid for and approved by Mitchner, she claims to be “a U.S. Army combat veteran with almost 15 years of honorable service to the country.”
Despite Mitchner’s statement that she served five years in the U.S. Army, and nearly 10 years in the Army Reserve, the government records posted showed that Mitchner served two years and eight months in the Army, and just over seven in the Army Reserve.
“Claiming half again as much military service as one actually had is troubling and disappointing to her fellow veterans,” said retired Rear Admiral Wayne Justice of Cocoa.
“I look forward to any explanation.”
Mitchner did not respond to multiple telephone, text and email requests from Space Coast Daily to comment for this story.
The Space Coast is home to more than 72,000 veterans and Brevard County is in the top 40 of the nation’s more than 3,100 counties when it comes to the number of resident veterans.
“Any individual who exaggerates the nature and/or duration of their military service dishonors every veteran and active duty member of our armed forces,” said retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel John Murphy of Viera.
When asked for comment, Mitchner’s opponent, Bryan Lober, the Republican candidate, said, “At this juncture, I’m focusing on my strong points rather than on my opponent’s shortcomings.”
Brevard County’s District 2 includes Merritt Island, Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Avon by the Sea, Rockledge, Kennedy Space Center, Snug Harbor and Patrick Air Force Base.
The 2018 Primary Election will be held on November 6. The Early Voting period will begin October 27 and run through November 3.
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