Afghanistan Veteran Senate Candidate Responds to Critics of Her Tattoos: ‘They Cover My Shrapnel Wounds’

by Jennifer Shea
(Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP / Getty Images)

Texas Senate candidate MJ Hegar is proud of her tattoos. The Afghanistan veteran says they cover her shrapnel wounds. And she says the attempt by an opposing super PAC to paint her as radical is “pretty funny to me.”

Hegar received a Purple Heart after the Taliban downed her medevac helicopter in Afghanistan. She fought alongside her fellow troops while sustaining injuries to her arm and leg, the Independent reported.

Meanwhile, Hegar, a Democrat, is on the defensive after the Texans for a Conservative Majority super PAC launched a website,, and decorated it with an image of her tattoos. 

“You think I’m ashamed of them?” the veteran tweeted. “They cover my shrapnel wounds from when my helicopter was shot down. They’re a mark of my service to our country. I’m damn proud of them.”

Hegar is running against Republican Senator John Cornyn for his Senate seat. Recent polls suggest the race is tightening. Cornyn’s lead had shrunk to 5 to 6 points in some polls, Forbes reported.

The campaign between the two is shaping up to be a referendum on Cornyn’s handling of issues ranging from coronavirus to immigration to health care, according to the Texas Tribune. Cornyn told the Tribune that he believes Hegar’s “personality stuff” critiques of him will fall flat.

As for Hegar, she feels that Texas voters seem ready for a change. After Beto O’Rourke failed to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, that conviction has yet to be proven. But Hegar believes she has a shot. The Real Clear Politics average showed Cornyn with a 7.5-point lead over Hegar this week.