Skip to comments.Purple Hearts: Dole 2, Cleland 0, Kerry 3
Posted on 08/08/2004 3:20:43 PM PDT by Jean S
During World War II, Dole served as a combat infantry officer with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. He was wounded twice and hospitalized for thirty-nine months. He received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. He eventually lost almost all use of his right arm due to his war injuries.
Democrats tout the Silver and Bronze Stars won by both Kerry and Cleland in Vietnam. But they prefer not to mention that, despite losing two legs and an arm to a hand grenade, Cleland was never awarded even one Purple Heart. The reason, as columnists Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn were widely attacked for pointing out, is that Clelands horrible injuries did not happen in combat, as Kerry tries to suggest with his deceitfully-crafted phrase about Cleland leaving his limbs on the battlefield.
Kerry was awarded his first Purple Heart for an injury incurred during his first combat experience (on December 2, 1968). He was treated for a small piece of shrapnel in his arm and he immediately returned to duty. On February 20, 1969, he earned a second Purple Heart when his left thigh was hit with shrapnel and, again, he was treated and returned to duty. Eight days later, on February 28, 1969, Kerry's boat was hit by a B-40 rocket. After beaching his boat, Kerry chased down and killed a wounded Viet Cong, who had been shot in the leg by a crew-mate and was fleeing with another B-40 rocket. Kerry came back to the boat with the rocket and launcher. He was awarded the Silver Star medal for his actions. On March 13, 1969, Kerry's boat detonated a mine (as his position took heavy fire) and his arm was wounded. For his injury and rescuing U.S. Army Green Beret James Rassmann on the same occasion, Kerry was awarded a third Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with Combat V. The last of his three injuries included a bruised arm and shrapnel in his posterior which, according to Kerry, cost him about two days of active service. Due to questions regarding the nature of his wounds, the Kerry Campaign released his military records.
Clelands horrible injuries did not happen in combat??
I guess I've heard that. So Cleland is just a clumsey grenade juggler??
That is not the point. What a disgusting comment.
If the 'teenager' Kerry killed was a VC with a rocket launcher, the killing was absolutely the right thing to do, unless he was a chi hoi. It does not, however, sound like a particularly courageous act. I know lots of guys who killed alot of VC and didn't get Silver Stars. A friend of mine who has a Bronze Star described it to me as a 'glorified good conduct medal' (his words, not mine).
.In 1942, at the age of 19, Bob Dole answered the call to serve his country by joining the Army to fight in World War II. He became a second lieutenant in the Armys 10th Mountain Division, and in the spring of 1945, found himself in the hills of Italy fighting the Nazi Germans. After the battle, medics gave him a shot of morphine and marked his forehead with an M written in his own blood. He wasnt expected to survive.
Also note that Bob Dole gave up his seat to run.
So,...Kerry got brown rice and grenade fragments in his butt from his own grenade that he threw in in a rice cache, and Cleland blew off his own legs and arm,...and they are supporting each other's politics....hummmmm I just don't know what to think of that...BRRAAGWAHAHAHAHAH HA HA HA
Checked the purple heart records on Kerry's web page, NO medical reports showing what he was treated for or what wounds he sustained???
My recollection is that he found a grenade laying on the ground that one of his comrades had dropped several minutes earlier and he made the mistake of picking it up.
I would SURE like to see Kerry's past exposed in these regards.
He was staying to have a beer with friends. As he got off the helicopter, he saw a grenade on the ground, and stooped to pick it up, thinking he had dropped it. Oops - it went off.
Actually, I've had my own theories of what happened to Cleland...
1. He could have been one of those jerks that used the grenade pull ring to attach the grenade to whatever rig he was wearing... When he moved to exit the chopper - the grenade got hung up on something during Cleland's exit, Cleland jumped to the ground, jerking the pin on his own grenade allowing it to drop ARMED to the ground at his feet......BOOM.
Variable on the above...
Cleland like MANY jerks, may have slightly compressed the pin wings on the Grenade pin, making it easier to pull the pin.. If the pin was TOO STRAIGHT -- his jump to the ground could have produced sufficient force on landing to pull the pin, allowing the grenade that was attached to his rig via the pull ring -- to drop ARMED to the ground at his feet.......BOOM.
A combination of BOTH, could have been the case - making this a Darwin event..
2. He was fragged.. This was not uncommon.
It's never been clearly determined whether the grenade was dropped by Cleland himself or one of the troops with him. In his own description of the event, even he didn't know for sure. In either case, it would have had to have been dropped some number of seconds rather than several minutes earlier for it to explode when it did.
Not sure you going to find much. That is probably why the Republicans are backing away from this. 1) Purple hearts were awarded and no one has claimed they were not legit. 2) Bronze Star and Silver Star situations are 'he said' / 'he said' situations, that don't really matter because the medals were awarded after du review. Now the Vets have a good claim against Kerry's actions after Vietnam, and they could all say he was a jerk during Vietnam, but to go after the medals is probably a no winner.
How many days was Kerry in the hospital?
The idea of John Forbes Kerry having 1 more Purple Heart than poor Bob Dole makes me want to puke.
Cleland, like John McCain, deserve our respect and thanks for their military service. Just like any vet does. As far as their actual military service goes.
But any vet that lies about their actual service deserve nothing but contemp. Because their lies spit on all the other vets.
Historically, we have celebrated those that have been in military service and then went into public service. But anyone that attempts to build a public service career on lies about their military service should be stomped into the ground.
Zero. None of his wounds were severe enough to require any hospitalization.
In at least the first case, it was an immediate return to duty after treatment. I'm not sure on the other two.
Cleland lost his limbs due to his own grenade. And it wasn't the first time a grenade had fallen off his flak jacket (his own words).
That isn't to take anything away from Cleland. His silver star shows him to be a real hero.
As a VietNam vet, I am apalled at the way Kerry has cheapened the purple heart for the real heros like Cleland.
I had a trooper try to get a purple heart for a stubbed toe during a ground attack. I informed him that he would be on the next patrol if he even thought about getting a purple heart. Told him that there were real people with real injuries getting the purple heart. He changed his mind about even going to the medics.
"Checked the purple heart records on Kerry's web page, NO medical reports showing what he was treated for or what wounds he sustained???"
I'd like to see photos of those "war wounds" of his. Well, except the one on his butt - yuk.
Max Clelands Military Service
Army ROTC; Stetson University
U.S. Army 1965-1968; Commisioned Second Lieutenant and promoted to Captain 1968
Airborne, Ft. Benning, Georgia
Aide de Camp, Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey
Volunteered for duty in Vietnam in 1967
Wounded in grenade explosion April 8, 1968 (lost both legs and right arm)
Recovered from injuries "in various Army and Veterans Administration hospitals"
Awarded Bronze Star and Silver Star
Silver Star Medal Citation
Captain Cleland distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 4 April 1968 during an enemy attack near Khe Sanh.
When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Captain Cleland, disregarding his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered position to administer first aid to his wounded comrades. He then assisted in moving the injured personnel to covered positions.
Continuing to expose himself, Captain Cleland organized his men into a work party to repair the battalion communications equipment, which had been damaged by enemy fire.
His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Grenade Explosion Accident. In his own words,
On April 8, 1968, I volunteered for one last mission. The helicopter moved in low. The troops jumped out with M16 rifles in hand as we crouched low to the ground to avoid the helicopter blades. Then I saw the grenade. It was where the chopper had lifted off. It must be mine, I thought. Grenades had fallen off my web gear before. Shifting the M16 to my left hand and holding it behind me, I bent down to pick up the grenade. A blinding explosion threw me backwards.
No wonder they both belong to the Jackass party
What were promotions like in the Vietnam era? Is rising from Lt to Captain in about 2 1/2 to 3 years more to do about the time he served in the military, or the nature of the action he saw?
Did enlisted men do any better?
Nada, none, zero, zilch
Max got drunk and on his way home from the slop shute, dropped a live grenade and fragged himself. It is all in the documentary!
Missing of course in all of this is the military record of William Jefferson "Blythe" Clinton. I guess liberals have become hawks since 1992.
It sounds about right. You have to remember that he had ROTC time, which is reserve time. Probably went in the active Army as a First Lt, or very senior 2nd Lt. The Aide de camp assignment didn't hurt either. It is a position that really helps (or hurts) a young officer.
Enlisted promotions were pretty good,compared to todays military. You could make E-4 in 2 years, espically if you were a "lifer" instead of a draftee.
NOT TRUE, and I resent your slander on a hero!
Read last paragraph of post 22!
Damn people who insist on taking the few heros we have from VN, no matter what the politics. You should be ashamed.
I salute your service to our country.
I am a civillian and only 36, so this is all after my time and I never enlisted in the service. I don't know much about it so I am curious about it.
It really stuck out when I read Cleland's promotion in about 3+ years or so, during a war. My instinct was that it's hard to rise in officer rank at that level, and then becomes mostly politics after a certain point (Col?). I figured enlisted men could rise in rank quicker, but I am sure there is a certain point (some kind of Sgt?) where advancement is more for career types.
Just my instinct, which has been wrong before (my dad's fave saying about me is 'even a broken clock is right twice a day - so much for my instincts!). I appreciate your input, and anyone else's input, that can school me a bit on this. I appreciate it and again, thanks for posting.
Kerry's boat PCF 94 did not hit a land mine..a mine went off under PCF 3 -- some yards from Kerry's boat. The force of the explosion disabled PCF 3 and knocked several sailors, dazed, into the water. All boats, except one, closed to rescue the sailors and defend the disabled boat. That boat -- Kerry's boat -- fled the scene. After a short period, it was evident to all on the scene that there was no additional hostile fire. Thurlow began the daring rescue of disabled PCF 3, while Chenoweth began to pluck dazed survivors of PCF 3 from the water. Midway through the process, after it was apparent that there was no hostile fire, Kerry finally returned, picking up Rassman who was only a few yards from Chenoweth's boat which was also going to pick Rassman up.
And Bob Dole NEVER used his gallant and appreciated service for political purposes, even when he ran for POTUS.
Thanks for the insight. Like I said, I am a civillian and find this kind of stuff interesting.
I figured in peacetime, advancement in is probably a combo of merit and time in the service, to a certain point. In wartime I had to figure advancement was quicker if you were at all competent, but still for practical purposes could not be that fast, for enlisted or officers. But like I have said, I'm just guessing here so I appreciate any info.
In the Army, a purple heart give no promotion points. It is looked on as a hazard of the job, while a bronze star gets the soldier 8 promotion points, and a silver star is worth 12 points.
Checked the purple heart records on Kerry's web page, NO medical reports showing what he was treated for or what wounds he sustained???
SELECTIVE production od records. How surprizing !!!
How could you possibly KNOW that Max didn't get drunk and blow himself up? You BELIEVE he didn't. I BELIEVE he did.
Losing a college deferment during the VietNam war meant that one would be hearing from their draft board quickly.
One option was to volunteer for three years active duty in the Army with technical training rather than serve two years as a draftee with assignment to infrantry almost certain.
Assuming one had qualifying scores on the admissions tests, one might opt for a signal school lasting nine months. Adding the two months for basic and a months leave, that would leave two years to serve after completing the technical school.
E-1 Private is a private with no stripes and is the entry rank. Four months of service generates a promotion to E-2 Private, with raise of pay and a single stripe. This was virtually automatic and occurred for everyone who didn't get into legal or behavioral problems.
Promotion to E-3, Private First Class, was almost automatic after about 18 months, at least for those in signal schools. For some shorter schools this might be the rank at graduation. For longer schools, the rank at graduation was Specialist E-4, with an Eagle rank insignia and the same pay as a Corporal (two stripes). Not everyone who started a school offering E-4 at graduation was able to successfully complete it. Some underqualified people found themselves washed out of school and may have ended up in infantry training.
Prior to my attendance, it had been the practice that Honors Students would get a two stripe promotion at graduation to E-5. (All I got was the certificate.)
The top finishers in technical school would find themselves assigned to VN ( well, duh, why didn't I think of that sooner.)
Most of the technical specialists just out of school would arrive in VN as Specialist E-4s.
After about six months, it would not be unusual that some of the E-5s at one's duty station would have ended their tours and gone home. This would create openings and roughly the top half of the E-4s would be encouraged to appear before a promotion board. Perhaps one or two in five would be promoted to E-5. Six months later, one might hope to be sent home.
At the time I was in, there was an early-out policy which stated that a soldier returning home with less than 150 days of active service remaining would be discharged. In order to qualify, one might extend one's stay in VN for, say, five months, and get out of the Army five months early.
Such a soldier would probably be informed that a $10K re-enlistment bonus was available to him and that immediate promotion to Specialist E-6, and perhaps Specialist E-7 could be negotiated. Such a soldier might have a hard time keeping a straight face while turning down such a golden opportunity.
I understand that most of the Specialist ranks are no longer used. Specialist E-7 would be the same pay grade as Sergeant First Class. Only Master Sergeant, E-8, and Sergeant-Major, E-9, are higher.
As this shows, I think, a person who had an Army enlisted career in mind could have got off to a great start at the time I was in. There were a lot fewer commissioned officers than enlisted personnel, so competition for any officer-level promotions would be very heavy.
Also, the promotions I received were all "temporary" promotions made possible by the large increase in the size of the Army. The highest permanent grade I held was, I believe, Private First Class. This fact may have created great disappointment for those who decided to make the Army a career only to find that Reductions in Force might take away all that they thought they had earned.
I would SURE like to see Kerry's past exposed in these regards
And he did this while a member of the "ready reserve". That was grounds for a courts martial.
How many days was Kerry in the hospital?
HOURS.........And if like most "Sick Calls", it was 1 1/2 hours waiting and ten minutes of treatment. Bandaids are able to be applied quickly.
Yeah,It is a good comparison.
Cool. I am casual friends with a retired AF Colonel, a super guy, once a meteorologist in the AF. Anyway, the only time this topic ever came up with him, he basically said you can get to Lt. Col/Col on merit and time, if you are any good. I think his era was the 1970s.
Anyway he wasn't explicit but spoke dismissively about officer promotion above that rank. I figured he just wasn't in the 'clique' and the politics in play would make it a real feat to rise above his rank. He retired, and enjoyed other careers after that.
As for me, I am more of an enlisted man type, I think, so I was always identified more with the guys with stripes. If I would have ever enlisted in any branch of service, peacetime or wartime, it would have been the USAF as an enlisted man. I strongly considered that in 1986 when I turned 18, but opted instead for College and then Law School. I don't think I would have been career, though.
Also somewhat related, the first thing I noticed about that pic of Kerry pointing his finger at the young Marine (the Marine looked to me like he wanted to slug him), was that the quiet dynamic of the scene was an 'Officer' (granted 30+ years post-service) talking to 'Stripes' - I think the young man was Sgt. Anyway, for what it was worth (and in no way flattering myself since I can't shine a US Marine's shoes), I was naturally identifying with the Sgt in the pic. Those are my kinda guys!
Have you been to www.Wintersoldier.com ?
Somebody get this man some links!
re: Purple Hearts, Bronze Star, Silver Star
That really is fascinating, thanks for the info!
First let me thank you for your service to our country.
Second, let me thank you for taking the time to explain this at length. I have looked online in the past for exactly this kind of analysis but never found it and I resorted to reading between the lines.
In any case, while I know your explanation doesn't satisfy all cases, I think I got a good grasp of how it worked in most cases. Thank you very much for taking the time to satisfy my mostly academic interest.
Re: The temporary promotions: I don't think most civilians know much about them, and the only reason I am aware of them was that my dad has mentioned them to me in the past.
He was drafted in July 1945, so as they say, he was a "lucky fella, mr smith," coming in just as the war was ending. He was an MP and I don't think he ever left stateside. In any case, he either spoke of the experience of some of the people he knew in the service or some friends of his who wound up in Korea, but he had mentioned the temporary promotions and I thought the whole concept was a royal ripoff.
My dad smiled and said "well, you're in the army, now!"
Again thanks for your service and taking the time to explain this to me.
"It is that viciousness that led them to attack as unpatriotic, Senator Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in combat during the Vietnam War."