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Kerry Purple Heart Doc Speaks Out
National Review Online ^ | May 04, 2004 | Byron York

Posted on 05/04/2004 2:47:46 PM PDT by rwfok

Some critics of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry have questioned the circumstances surrounding the first of three Purple Hearts Kerry won in Vietnam. Those critics, among them some of Kerry's fellow veterans, have suggested that a wound suffered by Kerry in December 1968 may have made him technically eligible for a Purple Heart but was not severe enough to warrant serious consideration, even for a decoration that was handed out by the thousands. Whatever the case, Kerry was awarded the Purple Heart, and, along with two others he won later, it allowed him to request to leave Vietnam before his tour of duty was finished.

Kerry was treated for the wound at a medical facility in Cam Ranh Bay. The doctor who treated Kerry, Louis Letson, is today a retired general practitioner in Alabama. Letson says he remembers his brief encounter with Kerry 35 years ago because "some of his crewmen related that Lt. Kerry had told them that he would be the next JFK from Massachusetts." Letson says that last year, as the Democratic campaign began to heat up, he told friends that he remembered treating one of the candidates many years ago. In response to their questions, Letson says, he wrote down his recollections of the time. (Letson says he has had no contacts with anyone from the Bush campaign or the Republican party.) What follows is Letson's memory, as he wrote it.

I have a very clear memory of an incident which occurred while I was the Medical Officer at Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay. John Kerry was a (jg), the OinC or skipper of a Swift boat, newly arrived in Vietnam. On the night of December 2, he was on patrol north of Cam Ranh, up near Nha Trang area. The next day he came to sick bay, the medical facility, for treatment of a wound that had occurred that night.

The story he told was different from what his crewmen had to say about that night. According to Kerry, they had been engaged in a fire fight, receiving small arms fire from on shore. He said that his injury resulted from this enemy action.

Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

That seemed to fit the injury which I treated.

What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry's arm. The metal fragment measured about 1 cm. in length and was about 2 or 3 mm in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle.

I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than 3 or 4 mm. It did not require probing to find it, did not require any anesthesia to remove it, and did not require any sutures to close the wound.

The wound was covered with a bandaid.

Not [sic] other injuries were reported and I do not recall that there was any reported damage to the boat.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: attackedenemyrocks; bactine; bandaid; booboo; byronyork; crybaby; curad; fakejfkfrommass; flipflop; flipflopking; frenchrambo; jfnk; kerry; kerrymedic; kissandmakebetter; liarliarpantsonfire; losingtheelection; louisletson; lurch; lyingliars; mchalesnavy; medicalrecord; metrosexualcandidate; oops; oopshediditagain; ouchlesscurad; pt101; purpheart4splinter; purplehaze; purpleheart; putsomeiceonit; recallthemedal; recount; ricochetbooboo; servedvaliantly; skinnedknee; undeservingdemocrat; unearnedpurpleheart; warhero; zzzzzzzzz
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1 posted on 05/04/2004 2:47:46 PM PDT by rwfok
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To: Howlin
!
2 posted on 05/04/2004 2:49:05 PM PDT by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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To: rwfok
LOL
3 posted on 05/04/2004 2:49:07 PM PDT by smith288 (John Kerry has more positions than a veteran prostitute)
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To: rwfok
Kerry has a purple cardiologist?
4 posted on 05/04/2004 2:50:08 PM PDT by Petronski (John Kerry: DIVEST your Benedict Arnold Shares! Divest Heinz!)
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To: rwfok
I'm shocked.
5 posted on 05/04/2004 2:50:31 PM PDT by ambrose (AP Headline: "Kerry Says His 'Family' Owns SUV, Not He")
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To: rwfok
I'm sure this will be the lead item on CBS Evening News tonight... right next to the O'Neill Press Conference.
6 posted on 05/04/2004 2:51:07 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Fabrizio Quattrocchi: "Adesso vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano")
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To: rwfok
That about sums it up. Much ado about Nothing. What a shock!!!
7 posted on 05/04/2004 2:51:30 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies: foreign and domestic RATmedia agree Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: rwfok
...Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

Priceless!

8 posted on 05/04/2004 2:51:42 PM PDT by SGCOS
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To: rwfok
If this is true, the first Purple Heart was a fraud because the owie was not caused by enemy fire. The owie was a small splinter?
9 posted on 05/04/2004 2:52:56 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; ...
... Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent ‘miscellaneous’ ping list.

10 posted on 05/04/2004 2:53:24 PM PDT by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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To: rwfok
A bandaid! LOL!
11 posted on 05/04/2004 2:54:21 PM PDT by what's up
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To: rwfok
Curad Kerry?

Band-Aid John?

What we have here is an opportunity to really nail a moniker on this guy.
12 posted on 05/04/2004 2:54:49 PM PDT by Pistolshot (I now have a permit to exercise a right that shouldn't need any permission)
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To: SAMWolf
Purple ping
13 posted on 05/04/2004 2:55:21 PM PDT by Samwise (Kerry distorts, you decide.)
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To: rwfok
I've had bigger things in my eye.
14 posted on 05/04/2004 2:55:21 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: colorado tanker
>>The owie <<

LOLOLOL!!!!!
15 posted on 05/04/2004 2:55:27 PM PDT by netmilsmom (For Tali Hatuel, her son & daughters Tehila, 11; Hadar, 9; Roni, 7; and Meirav, 2 - Kill Arafat)
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To: SGCOS

16 posted on 05/04/2004 2:55:56 PM PDT by Petronski (Hubris knows no editor.)
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To: rwfok
Kerry's story is pure barbra streisand on it's face. If the fragment wound was a superficial as the Doc. says, Kerry himself would have taken it out rather than wait until the next day to have the doctor do it. Think of the last time you got a wooden splinter in your skin.

If this is true, it was Kerry's intent to have this bruise win a Purple Heart and to employ a loophole to escape the danger and his military obligation.

When did Kerry learn about this trick excuse and how did he learn about it? It sure sounds self-inflicted to me!!! Kerry shot himself in the foot and got to bug out!!

17 posted on 05/04/2004 2:57:07 PM PDT by Tacis
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To: rwfok
Kerry releases medical records and photos...


18 posted on 05/04/2004 2:57:12 PM PDT by smith288 (John Kerry has more positions than a veteran prostitute)
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To: netmilsmom
>>The owie <<

LOL indeed! This is even better than the Frank Burns 'shell fragment in the eye' episode.

19 posted on 05/04/2004 2:57:25 PM PDT by GaltMeister (This is not my tagline. It belongs to my family.)
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To: rwfok
"Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

That seemed to fit the injury which I treated....The wound was covered with a bandaid."

I am without speech....but, not surprise.

20 posted on 05/04/2004 2:57:26 PM PDT by Right_in_Virginia
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To: rwfok
Has anyone run this over to "the underground" to gauge their reactions yet?
21 posted on 05/04/2004 2:57:32 PM PDT by cripplecreek (you tell em i'm commin.... and hells commin with me.)
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To: Petronski
"Boo-Boo" Kerry! LOL! ;-D
22 posted on 05/04/2004 2:57:40 PM PDT by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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To: rwfok
I e-mailed this to a friend. He EARNED his Purple Hearts (2). And he has the wheelchair to prove it.
23 posted on 05/04/2004 2:58:13 PM PDT by airborne (lead by example)
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To: rwfok
waitaminnit.

kerry was in VIET NAM !?!?!?!?
24 posted on 05/04/2004 2:58:41 PM PDT by smonk
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To: doug from upland; ALOHA RONNIE; abner; Mia T
ping!
25 posted on 05/04/2004 2:58:43 PM PDT by nutmeg (Why vote for Bush? Imagine Commander in Chief John Fin al-Qerry)
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To: Petronski
Darn. You beat me to it.
26 posted on 05/04/2004 2:58:54 PM PDT by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: Pistolshot
How about an all-encompassing moniker: Kerrytastrophe.
27 posted on 05/04/2004 3:01:19 PM PDT by small voice in the wilderness (Quick, act casual. If they sense scorn and ridicule, they'll flee..)
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To: rwfok
Letson says he remembers his brief encounter with Kerry 35 years ago because:
"some of his crewmen related that Lt. Kerry had told them that he would be the next JFK from Massachusetts."

That's spelled jfk.
jfk - the Bandaid Hero.

Is a Swift Boat any thing like a PT boat?

28 posted on 05/04/2004 3:01:35 PM PDT by Cyber Ninja (His legacy is a stain on the dress.)
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To: nutmeg

29 posted on 05/04/2004 3:02:16 PM PDT by Petronski (Hubris knows no editor.)
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To: colorado tanker
If this is true, the first Purple Heart was a fraud because the owie was not caused by enemy fire.

Kerry is his own worst enemy

30 posted on 05/04/2004 3:02:46 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ("Despise not the jester. Often he is the only one speaking the truth")
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To: rwfok

31 posted on 05/04/2004 3:03:53 PM PDT by pookie18
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To: rwfok
I just do not understand how anybody, especially military, can support this guy. This "Anybody But Bush" stuff is going to hopefully continue a downward spiral of which the 'rats will never recover. ofv
32 posted on 05/04/2004 3:04:24 PM PDT by oldfashionedvalues
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To: rwfok
Boo-boo Kerry?
33 posted on 05/04/2004 3:05:03 PM PDT by jmstein7 (Real Men Don't Need Chunks of Government Metal on Their Chests to be Heroes)
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To: colorado tanker
"..If this is true, the first Purple Heart was a fraud because the owie was not caused by enemy fire. The owie was a small splinter?"



Can you even begin to imagine how the alphebet media would be all over this if the story was about BUSH fradulently obtaining a PURPLE HEART? The Outrage wouldn't stop for years!!!
34 posted on 05/04/2004 3:05:03 PM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: gitmo
Darn. You beat me to it.

He beat you by eight minutes!! That's an eon on this board. :)

35 posted on 05/04/2004 3:05:26 PM PDT by Snardius
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To: Eaker
"Frank Burns shell fragment" ping

Can you imagine him walking around, trying to keep the sliver from falling out on its own, before he could see the doctor?
36 posted on 05/04/2004 3:05:36 PM PDT by thackney (Life is Fragile, Handle with Prayer)
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To: Right_in_Virginia
Are these the SAME crew members that are sticking by Kerry's story??? Maybe they are really "The Band-Aid Brothers"....not "The Band of Brothers"....which is it?
37 posted on 05/04/2004 3:06:04 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: rwfok
Do they hand out Purple Hearts for mosquito bites, too?
38 posted on 05/04/2004 3:06:26 PM PDT by K1avg (What would Savage do?)
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To: Right_in_Virginia
"they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore."

This appears to mean that Kerry was just shooting up stuff along the shoreline, with a mortar no less, probably wanting to see what sort of damage he could do, as the boat patrolled along.

If he hadn't been the superior officer, his superior would have told him to stow it, and quit wasting ammo!
39 posted on 05/04/2004 3:07:46 PM PDT by spoiler2
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To: Right_in_Virginia; mhking; swarthyguy; archy; Grampa Dave; okie01; blam
"Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore."

Hey, we haven't had a "Hold Muh Beer" alert in a while. I think this qualifies.

Maybe a "Hold Muh Gin & Tonic"?
40 posted on 05/04/2004 3:07:48 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: rwfok
"Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks."

. . .this has a 'ring' of truth to it; vs the rather hollow; contradictions Kerry has offered.

But what amazes me, are those men who are supporting Kerry. I am wondering, are they disabled in any way; ie post traumatic stress syndrome and maybe they have not had a real job since this war. . .and now are receiving some attention and a check or two; for their help?

. . .or what?

41 posted on 05/04/2004 3:08:25 PM PDT by cricket (Liberals are a scourge . . .)
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To: rwfok
...but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

if true, how goofy is Kerry ?
42 posted on 05/04/2004 3:08:42 PM PDT by stylin19a (Don't be so quick to judge. God waits until the end.)
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To: oldfashionedvalues; 4mycountry
Kerry will hold on until the convention when he quits and Hillary will save the day.

At that point my plan is to pitch a tent in 4mycountry's yard and secede from the Union.

Anybody with me?
43 posted on 05/04/2004 3:09:05 PM PDT by netmilsmom (For Tali Hatuel, her son & daughters Tehila, 11; Hadar, 9; Roni, 7; and Meirav, 2 - Kill Arafat)
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To: oldfashionedvalues
Why are Kerry and Bush TIED?????
44 posted on 05/04/2004 3:10:01 PM PDT by patriciamary
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To: rwfok
It should be kept in mind that what is most important is not that Kerry got himself a Purple Heart that he did not deserve. (Purple Hearts require injury from an encounter with the enemy and "requires" the attention of a medical officer. This injury was seen by a medical officer but "required" nothing but minor First Aid.)

What is most important is that Kerry used such a bogus Purple Heart to bug out of his combat tour after only 4 months.

And, yet, the Kerry has the gall to accuse Bush of being "AWOL".

45 posted on 05/04/2004 3:10:01 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: devolve
Here's one for ya mister . .

"Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks."


46 posted on 05/04/2004 3:11:36 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (U.S.A. - - United We Stand - - Divided We Fall - - Support Our Troops - - Vote BUSH)
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To: rwfok
If it's true, it's damning of John Effin'
47 posted on 05/04/2004 3:12:24 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: rwfok
That is soooo funny. Kerry is a hypocrite and full of B.S.
48 posted on 05/04/2004 3:13:00 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Free Terri Schiavo!!!)
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To: Shermy
Hold my chardonnay?
49 posted on 05/04/2004 3:13:08 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: stylin19a
Goofier than most, but not as goofy as gore, staring down the barrel of his rifle. There must be some kind of stooge-god that protects the boneheads of this world. If for nothing else than the laughs they bring us.
50 posted on 05/04/2004 3:13:38 PM PDT by small voice in the wilderness (Quick, act casual. If they sense scorn and ridicule, they'll flee..)
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