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Kerry campaign provides military records
AP | 4/20/04 | NEDRA PICKLER

Posted on 04/20/2004 5:48:11 PM PDT by kattracks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid questions about his military records, John Kerry's campaign on Tuesday provided documentation of Vietnam War injuries that included shrapnel wounds to his arms, legs and buttocks that earned him three Purple Hearts.

Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said the campaign was in the process of compiling the rest of Kerry's naval record and planned to begin posting it on Kerry's Web site by day's end. Kerry said all his military records are available to the public during an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Meehan said the Massachusetts senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee requested a copy of his record from the Navy last month and received roughly 150 pages last week.

Conservatives, talk radio and some newspapers editorials have questioned whether Kerry was deserving of the three Purple Hearts, fueling questions about his Navy service from 1966 to 1970 and the seriousness of his injuries.

He served two tours of duty, four months on the USS Gridley frigate off Vietnam's shore and nearly five months as a swiftboat commander in the Mekong Delta. He volunteered for the second tour and earned all his medals during the second stint.

Meehan gave The Associated Press 13 pages that included documentation for the Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. The Boston Globe obtained some of the records last year for an extensive series on Kerry.

The documents also included declassified reports that briefly explain the injuries that led to Kerry's Purple Heart awards. They show Kerry had shrapnel wounds in his left thigh after his boat came under intense fire on Feb. 20, 1969, and he suffered shrapnel wounds in his left buttock and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close to his boat on March 13, 1969.

The campaign could not locate a similar report for Kerry's original Purple Heart. As evidence that Kerry was wounded, Meehan showed The Associated Press a "Sick Call Treatment Record" from Kerry's personal files that included a brief written note dated Dec. 3, 1968, and stamped from the naval support facility at Cam Ranh Bay.

"Shrapnel in left arm above elbow. Shrapnel removed and appl bacitracin dressing. Ret to Duty," it said. The note is followed by a signature that appears to say "JCCarreon" and some illegible letters that Meehan said probably designate the medical official's rank.

Meehan said the campaign would allow a reporter to see the record at the campaign's headquarters, but not take a copy. He said it would not be made available to the public because Kerry considers it a private medical record.

Documentation for the second two injuries show that Kerry was deemed to be in good condition and returned to active duty after treatment. The documentation does not describe the severity of the injuries. A third Purple Heart meant Kerry could be reassigned out of Vietnam, and a document dated March 17, 1969, said Kerry requested duty as a personal aid in Boston, New York or the Washington, D.C., area.

Meehan said although Kerry could have asked to stay in Vietnam, it was the Navy's decision to request that he be reassigned. Kerry left the country in early April 1969.

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager, accused Kerry's campaign of waffling on the release of his military records, saying the campaign's position on Tuesday to release the records in "due diligence" is contrary to Kerry's comments on "Meet the Press" that the records would be made public immediately.

"Senator Kerry's record of nondisclosure and his flip-flop on this issue should concern voters," Mehlman said.

Meehan responded, "Senator Kerry's record on the military is one we are running on, not running from. We are happy to compare Senator Kerry's record of service to anybody in the Bush campaign who has or has not served."

Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, but did not serve in combat. Bush released hundreds of pages of his Vietnam-era military records in February to counter Democrats' suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard.

The White House said the documents comprise his entire military record. The records did not provide evidence that Bush was in Alabama during a period when Democrats have questioned whether he reported for service.

Kerry on Friday questioned Republicans who avoided the war and now criticize him on national security, but he didn't mention Bush.

"I fought under that flag and I saw that flag draped over the coffins of friends," Kerry said. "I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid the chance to serve when they had the chance."

The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers who are wounded or killed by enemy forces. The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action, and the Bronze Star is for heroic achievement.

Kerry received the Bronze Star for his actions after being wounded by the mine, which led to the third Purple Heart. According to his citation, one of Kerry's boatmates was thrown overboard and Kerry pulled him to safety with "his arm bleeding and in pain and with disregard for his personal safety." Kerry and the man, retired Los Angeles police officer Jim Rassmann, had an emotional public reunion in January, two days before Kerry would win the Iowa caucuses.


On the Net:

Facsimiles of Kerry's Purple Heart citations are available at:

Facsimiles of Kerry's bronze and silver star citations are available at:

Facsimiles of reports describing Kerry's wounds are available at:

TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; kerry; militaryrecord; unearnedpurpleheart
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To: concerned about politics
Don't tell me to calm down. I have been dealing with the Clintons for too damn many years to have to put up with a Kerry too.

301 posted on 04/20/2004 8:22:12 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: mystery-ak
"Has Kerry ever been to Walter Reed, he should, those are real combat injuries.......he makes me sick!...he cheapens the PH for those who truly deserve it...."

No, he has not visited Walter Reed, nor has he visited Bethesda Naval Hospital. At least not that I know of. Many prominant Senators have been to Iraq, John Kerry has not!

John Kerry is all Leather and Chains, No Harley Davidson

302 posted on 04/20/2004 8:24:25 PM PDT by MJY1288 (2 Things You Wont Find at a Kerry Campaign Rally... A Leader, and an American Flag in the Crowd)
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To: concerned about politics
Uh, yeah. I noticed that, too. Ashame they're almost illegible. I'll bet it breaks Johnnie's heart.
303 posted on 04/20/2004 8:24:32 PM PDT by watchin
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To: xzins
A contusion is a brusie.

As far as the Purple Heart goes, from AR 600-8-22:

b. While clearly an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.

(1) A Purple Heart is authorized for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each subsequent award an Oak Leaf Cluster will be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon. Not more than one award will be made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant or from the same missile, force, explosion, or agent.

(2) A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.

(3) When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is the degree to which the enemy caused the injury. The fact that the proposed recipient was participating in direct or indirect combat operations is a necessary prerequisite, but is not sole justification for award.

(4) Examples of enemy-related injuries which clearly justify award of the Purple Heart are as follows:

(a) Injury caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile created by enemy action.

(b) Injury caused by enemy placed mine or trap.

(c) Injury caused by enemy released chemical, biological or nuclear agent.

(d) Injury caused by vehicle or aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire.

(e) Concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions.

(5) Examples of injuries or wounds which clearly do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart are as follows:

(a) Frostbite or trench foot injuries.

(b) Heat stroke.

(c) Food poisoning not caused by enemy agents.

(d) Chemical, biological, or nuclear agents not released by the enemy.

(e) Battle fatigue.

(f) Disease not directly caused by enemy agents.

(g) Accidents, to include explosive, aircraft, vehicular, and other accidental wounding not related to or caused by enemy action.

(h) Self-inflicted wounds, except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence.

(i) Post traumatic stressdisorders.

(j) Jump injuries not caused by enemy action.

(6) It is not intended that such a strict interpretation of the requirement for the wound or injury to be caused by direct result of hostile action be taken that it would preclude the award being made to deserving personnel. Commanders must also take into consideration the circumstances surrounding an injury, even if it appears to meet the criteria. Note the following examples:

(a) In a case such as an individual injured while making a parachute landing from an aircraft that had been brought down by enemy fire; or, an individual injured as a result of a vehicle accident caused by enemy fire, the decision will be made in favor of the individual and the award will be made.

(b) Individuals wounded or killed as a result of "friendly fire" in the "heat of battle" will be awarded the Purple Heart as long as the "friendly" projectile or agent was released with the full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment.

(c) Individuals injured as a result of their own negligence; for example, driving or walking through an unauthorized area known to have been mined or placed off limits or searching for or picking up unexploded munitions as war souvenirs, will not be awarded the Purple Heart as they clearly were not injured as a result of enemy action, but rather by their own negligence.

I would say, based on the criteria, a bruise suffered as a direct result of enemy action, qualifies one for the Purple Heart.
304 posted on 04/20/2004 8:26:40 PM PDT by Gamecock ("We must remember that Satan has his miracles, too." John Calvin)
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To: watchin
It took them ALL DAY to get those?! He could have made copies from his wall. That's a bunch of crap. Where are the REAL RECORDS, like they DEMANDED of President Bush?
305 posted on 04/20/2004 8:27:28 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Howlin
Is that a notebook in Gore's hand?
306 posted on 04/20/2004 8:28:34 PM PDT by Carolinamom
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To: victoryatallcosts
"Who the hell recommended him for the Silver Star? "

Adm Zumwalt takes the credit for the SS. I believe it was in 1996 Kerrry was running for reelection and some of his former commanders, including Adm Z came to his campaign and stood shoulder to shoulder w/Kerry. Adm Z is quoted by the press at this time as saying (I am going from memory here) he would have put Kerry in for the Navy Cross, but that would have required Dept of Navy approval and would have taken too long, so he gave him the SS.

What is potentially interesting is that Adm Z, after he retired, had a consulting business in DC that specialized in contracts with Viet Nam. Recall, that JF'n had been the key Senator to allow the POW issue to be stuffed and then Clinton allowed normal trade with VN. Kerry's family company quicly received received a contract w/VN valued at or near 1 billion dollars.

One wonders what sweetheart deal Kerry might have arranged for Adm Z's consulting company to account for Z's flip flopping on his characterization of the young Naval officer JF'n.

307 posted on 04/20/2004 8:28:49 PM PDT by There's millions of'em (John Kerry is a French Fry. With ketchup.)
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To: prairiebreeze
I find it very hard to believe that Powell will leave before Nov, because both he and the admin. understand that it would have a negative effect on the campaign. Some would be loath to admit it, but several times in the last few months it has been Powell who forcefully rebutted charges and innuendo that looked ready to do damage to the campaign, his refutation of Woodward's claims being the latest example.

Powell has been a good soldier, and it seems quite clear that he wants the President reelected. In fact if one were to compare this to sports, excepting President Bush himself, Powell would be in the running for the MVP of the campaign. He's a bridge to the swing voters and gives the campaign an added layer of trust. When it has mattered, he has spoken out strongly, dropping in that rbi hit with runners on base.
308 posted on 04/20/2004 8:29:08 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: kcvl
Don't tell me to calm down. I have been dealing with the Clintons for too damn many years to have to put up with a Kerry too.

Did you read about his records? This is a huge win for us.
He claims to have been a hero that practically fought the Vietnam war by himself, and his records show he got three boo boos and left the military to run for politics! He required nothing but a band aid, and used those "injuries" to get out early! He's still hiding the rest. Imagine what's in those if these we were the best so they were sent out first!
In my opinion, this is great news for our side. He's been caught lying through his teeth!

309 posted on 04/20/2004 8:29:44 PM PDT by concerned about politics ( Liberals are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)
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To: kcvl
It took them all day to make them nearly illegible without it looking like they did it on purpose.

No one really expected to see all 150 pages, right?
310 posted on 04/20/2004 8:30:16 PM PDT by watchin
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To: Howlin; mass55th
Well, that whole excerpt reads a little odd to me....
"The Dec. 2, 1968, mission behind what he has claimed to be his first Purple Heart was "a half-assed action that hardly qualified as combat." Indeed. Kerry was stationed with Coastal Division 14 at Cam Ranh Bay. At that time he piloted a small foam-filled boat, known as a Boston Whaler, with two enlisted men in the darkness of early morning. The intent, apparently, was to patrol an area that was known for contraband trafficking, but it was an undocumented mission. Upon approaching the objective point, the crew noticed a sampan crossing the river. As it pulled to shore, Kerry and his little team opened fire, destroying the boat and whatever its cargo might have been."

An undocumented mission sorta sounds like the 3 men just took off in the night, ran across a little trouble, enough to scare them so they opened fire. As mass55th pointed out... "There's never been a report that the smugglers fired on Kerry's group, yet he pursued (relentlessly) a Purple Heart for what was obviously a non-combat incident."

311 posted on 04/20/2004 8:30:37 PM PDT by Darlin' ("I will not forget this wound to my country." President George W Bush, 20 Sept 2001)
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To: familyofman
"Please feel free to use my comments as your 'punching bag'."

Whaaaaa! When you can't argue back with facts, cry victim!!!

312 posted on 04/20/2004 8:30:37 PM PDT by mass55th
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To: Carolinamom
To hell with that notebook, look at the huge pencil he slung on his shoulder :-)
313 posted on 04/20/2004 8:30:59 PM PDT by MJY1288 (2 Things You Wont Find at a Kerry Campaign Rally... A Leader, and an American Flag in the Crowd)
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To: Gamecock; MJY1288
According to the list of requirements for a PH awarded, Mike could have got one if he would have went to the flight-surgeon after the mortar attack that knocked him out of bed and he bumped and bruised his head....the thought never occured to Mike, Kerry would have been *johnny on the spot*.
314 posted on 04/20/2004 8:33:50 PM PDT by mystery-ak (Ted Kennedy...traitor to the USA, responsible for the deaths of US troops....Mike1sg.)
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To: Howlin
What did CNN say about it?
315 posted on 04/20/2004 8:35:02 PM PDT by Piranha
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To: MJY1288
I love freeper humor! HOW could he be "patrolling" in enemy territory and taking notes? He was no Ernie Pyle by a long shot. LOL
316 posted on 04/20/2004 8:35:16 PM PDT by Carolinamom
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To: There's millions of'em
Adm Z is quoted by the press at this time as saying (I am going from memory here) he would have put Kerry in for the Navy Cross, but that would have required Dept of Navy approval and would have taken too long, so he gave him the SS.

But a Silver star has to be voted on and approved by all the big wigs. One person can't just give him the star. That's not how it's suppose to work. You're not suppose to be able to just buy one. Sheesh!
We've got to get the press to ask boo boo botox how he got that star. It could be fun!

317 posted on 04/20/2004 8:35:23 PM PDT by concerned about politics ( Liberals are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)
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To: concerned about politics
"Remember when Gore bragged about being in Vietnam? He ran a type writer, but he did get to wear green!"

To Gore's favor, he at least did not request any papercut PH's during his short stay in 'Nam. And I'm sure he bruised his fingers and broke a few nails pounding away on that typewriter.

318 posted on 04/20/2004 8:38:37 PM PDT by mass55th
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To: Gamecock
I looked at those parameters before and I agree with you. Kerry's PH's do seem to meet the criteria when it comes to being injured, but from what I have read, there is some dispute on whether his injuries coincide with reported confrontations with the enemy.
319 posted on 04/20/2004 8:39:13 PM PDT by MJY1288 (2 Things You Wont Find at a Kerry Campaign Rally... A Leader, and an American Flag in the Crowd)
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To: kattracks
FOX News just got a copy of the military record provided by the Kerry campaign.

320 posted on 04/20/2004 8:39:51 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez (Sin Pátria, pero sin amo.)
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