Rep. John Kriesel: I looked up to Gen. Petraeus before this - KMSP-TV

Kriesel: 'I looked up to Gen. Petraeus before this'

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Many who have served in the military have mixed feelings about the scandal surrounding Gen. David Petraeus, but Iraq war veteran and current Minnesota Rep. John Kriesel isn't shy about sharing his opinion.

For many veterans who spoke with FOX 9 News, the reaction is one of disappointment, not anger, when learning that a man who seemed to follow the straight and narrow has admitted to an extramarital affair.

Some who did not want to appear on camera admitted they believe the story reads more like a soap opera than a national security issue, but others say Petraeus deserves criticism for failing to uphold the hallmarks of military values.

Republican Rep. John Kriesel, who lost his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq, is among the latter group.

"My view of him has changed," Kriesel admitted.

While Kriesel said Petraeus deserves credit for making Iraq a more stable place, he also believes the retired general should be held accountable for not living by the loyalty and honor that are hallmarks of military values.

"It's tough -- especially for a guy who's been on so many deployments," Kriesel explained. "His wife has stood by his side for those deployments. To betray her like that is heartbreaking. I looked up to Gen. Petraeus before this."

Petraeus admitted his affair with biography Paula Broadwell began a year ago, after he became director of the CIA following his retirement from the military. If true, that would clear him from prosecution for adultery, which is against the military's uniform code.

"Really, to be a leader of that caliber and be in charge of the CIA, I think you do have to hold yourself to a higher standard -- and he didn't," Kriesel said.

Yet, Broadwell may not be escape military prosecution. She is still in the reserve, and is married with two young sons.

"I hope that people can give both spouses some space, and they're the ones I feel for," Kriesel said, "both her husband and Gen. Petraeus's wife."

Overnight, FBI agents searched Broadwell's home in Charlotte, and they uncovered more about how the two had communicated through a shared e-mail account where they shared notes to each other as drafts in order to avoid a trail of sent e-mails.

There are still a lot of complaints over the timing, along with suspicions that it was kept under wraps until after the election; however, Kriesel gives no credit to those theories.

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