Rep. John Murtha dies

Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania died Monday due to complications following a recent surgery at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va.

The Marine veteran of the Vietnam War served for 36 years in the House of Representatives before his death and in recent years was known for being out-spoken on opposition to the war in Iraq, Politico said.

Murtha was the first Vietnam War veteran in Congress, elected during a special election in 1974, said the Associated Press.

Politico said that Murtha formed a strong alliance with the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi early in her career while working on the House Appropriations Committee.

Although a strong supporter of the military, the Associated Press says, Murtha shocked Washington in 2005, he called for the immediate withdrawal of troops after having supported the initial actions of President George Bush.

The Associated Press reported that Murtha said, "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

Though he disagreed with the Iraq War, the Associated Press said that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will remember Murtha as a tireless advocated for the military.

"From health care to weapons procurement, from shipbuilding to pay and benefits, no one understood the needs of our modern military better than he did," Mullen said in a statement.

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