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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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