In an ad set to air during the Olympics, a soldier who served with Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., in Iraq said the lawmaker saved his life by giving him body armor that blocked AK-47 fire.
Robert Delgado, a former Army sergeant, describes a combat mission in Iraq where he was shot in the chest by insurgents. If it wasn't for the body armor that his commanding officer, West, gave him, Delgado said, he would likely be dead.
As the ad shows reenacted video of the attack through night-vision, he recounted the experience: "This car came flying by, and an AK-47 just starts firing, and I got shot," he said. "If I hadn't had that body armor, though, I don't think I'd really be here, because where it hit was where my lung was. Lt. Col. Allen West saved my life."
Before Delgado was deployed to Iraq, he said, his wife was pregnant with their first son. He said that West promised him he would be home to see the child.
"It was just the greatest feeling in the world to hold my son for that first time," he said, as the ad showed an injured Delgado with the infant on this chest. "Col. West gave me his body armor, and because of that I'm here today. And I think people need to understand that Allen West is a true patriot. He's a man who loves his country."
West served 22 years in the Army, fighting in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.
The ad goes up on Friday in Florida's 18th District, where Democratic businessman Patrick Murphy is challenging the freshman representative. West took the seat in 2010 from Democrat Ron Klein.