Ojeda's medical records should remain private

Anyone who voted in the 2018 midterm election provided Richard Ojeda's VA medical records had not then become front-page news should nevertheless not have been surprised to learn that he had suffered PTSD or other forms of psychological trauma having served several tours of duty in the treacherous Middle Eastern theaters.

Mr. Ojeda portrayed a forceful, macho persona in his campaign ads, highlighted his Logan County roots, his military background and displayed a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach in rapid-fire pronouncement of solutions to West Virginia's numerous problems. Despite any number of reservations concerning the candidate, as a registered GOP I took a leap of faith and voted for Mr. Ojeda based on his limited sample size performance in the State Senate and due to his backing of our teachers and our miners.

In hindsight, perhaps Mr. Ojeda left the State Senate too soon, gambling this was his tactical opportunity to seize a congressional seat while in the process turning a red state partially blue. His campaign was blindsided by the Trump Effect. His knee-jerk reaction, short-lived turn to an announced presidency candidacy that soon followed was in one sense puzzling, yet in another calculating, and in some circles viewed as delusional.

While we may or may not have seen the last of Mr. Ojeda on the political front, whether we viewed him as an embryonic beacon of hope or an opportunistic huckster, he was entitled to have his medical records kept private. Those responsible for disseminating those records, those who may have unlawfully solicited their access and disclosed them for political gain, if guilty, they should not go unpunished.

Steve Flesher



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