Attempts to discredit Robert Smullen are disgraceful

As a long serving Fulton County Court Judge and Surrogate, Gloversville City Court Judge, and as an Army veteran, and more importantly as an American, I am deeply offended over the mistreatment of our hometown hero, recently retired (2015) Marine Colonel Robert Smullen. The sad people afraid of losing power who criticize Smullen for his residency don’t grasp that the political attacks against him are truly an attack on each and every military veteran.

Robert Smullen, who is running for NYS Assembly, was born here in Fulton County, and I have known him his entire life. He was raised and went to school here in Fulton County, and he lives here in Fulton County. Go to the Stewart’s in Meco when he is buying diesel fuel or to Runnings in Gloversville when he’s there buying something for his farm. Or maybe at Big Mike’s when he is there with his kids eating dinner. Until he left his job in April, if you stopped by his Mayfield office for the Hudson River Black River Regulating District, you would have seen him working for us. Just ask his neighbors in our community, this is Robert Smullen’s home.

Those of us who have served, those who have family and friends who have served, or those who simply respect those who serve in the military all know that when you take the oath to protect our nation in the armed forces it isn’t a matter of “coming back home.” The fact is you really never leave. When you serve, you might be deployed to the deserts of the Middle East half way around the world fighting radicals who want to kill Americans, but your home is still here. You might be standing guard in freezing weather in the mountains of Afghanistan, on the front lines against people who want nothing more than to end our way of life, but your home is still the friends and family you left behind. You might walk the halls of the Pentagon to build the plans that keep our nation and our world secure, but your home is still right here, right where you left it, because we’re keeping it for you. The idea that when someone stands up to be counted, to say “service before myself” that they are no longer part of our community shows the profound disrespect and misunderstanding for the sacrifice of military service.

Our community, our state and our nation owe Robert Smullen a debt of gratitude, a debt that we can never repay. After more than 24 years in the Marines, three combat tours in Afghanistan, and countless nights away from his friends and family, the least we can do is say to Robert: we know the truth about where you live and it’s right here at home in our community. Fulton County is with you Colonel Smullen and we will not stand against the fake political attacks on you and your family. Robert, stay strong in your journey to be our next assemblyman.