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Staunton: Former POW, Swift Boater, to speak on Saturday

Story by Chris Graham

How do we describe Paul Galanti? Former POW-turned-Swift Boat critic of John Kerry? That would be one way. Another would be strong Mark Warner supporter who was appointed by Warner and then reappointed by Tim Kaine to serve on the board of the Virginia Department of Veterans’ Services.

Galanti, who will speak at the monthly SWAC GOP Breakast in Staunton on Saturday, is now serving as the chair of Virginia Veterans for McCain. He served as chair of the McCain Virginia campaign in 2000 before backing Warner in his 2001 gubernatorial bid.

He spoke out against fellow Vietnam veteran John Kerry at the height of the Swift Boat Veterans hysteria in the fall of 2004, then backed George Allen against another fellow Vietnam vet and U.S. Naval Academy grad, Jim Webb, in the 2006 U.S. Senate election in Virginia.

Galanti flew 97 combat missions in Vietnam before being shot down in 1966 and being held captive for almost seven years. He retired from the Navy as a commander in 1983.

Galanti is a strong McCain backer. “John McCain has always put country first, above self-interest and politics,” he said in a statement released by the McCain campaign during the GOP convention. “Barack Obama’s foreign policy is based on political calculations. Our progress in Iraq would be lost if Barack Obama had his way and began to withdraw our forces without concern for ground conditions or the advice of military commanders. The course Barack Obama advocates would weaken our security, put peace further out of reach, and Americans back in harm’s way,” Galanti said.

The SWAC GOP Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday at 8 a.m. at Kathy’s on Greenville Avenue in Staunton. The cost is $7.50 a person, which includes breakfast, coffee/tea and a tip.

RSVP by 5 p.m. Friday to

augusta free press
augusta free press