Skip to comments.Navy Veteran Van Odell Responds to Kerry
Posted on 08/19/2004 12:50:51 PM PDT by gilliam
Statement by Navy Veteran Van Odell, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, in Rebuttal to Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, August 19, 2004
A courageous, soft spoken man of the Midwest, Larry Thurlow has a heart bigger than the great plains and a commitment to truth and honesty that is boundless. He is under attack, because John Kerry is feeling the heat of truth at the hands of this honest man and others like him.
The Kerry Campaign is attacking the truthfulness of this man and the Bronze Star he so richly deserves for his actions on March 13, 1969. I was there. I saw what happened.
The mines detonation lifted PCF-3 completely out of the water just yards ahead of me. All boats commenced suppression fire in case enemy small arms fire ensued. None did.
All boats came to the aid of PCF-3, except one: John Kerrys boat. Kerry fled.
Larry Thurlow piloted his boat straight toward the mine-damaged PCF-3 from which thick, black smoke billowed. He jumped aboard and personally led damage control operations that saved the boat and rescue operations that saved the lives of badly wounded men. Larrys leadership was in the highest traditions of the naval service. His leadership allowed the other men and boats of the mission to exit the river safely.
This single act of meritorious service the chief requirement of the Bronze Star should be honored, not ridiculed, by the Kerry campaign and its allies in the mainstream media.
To reiterate, only one enemy weapon was deployed that day the command-detonated submerged mine that disabled PCF-3. Larry Thurlows citation contained references to enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire, because that was the language chosen by John Kerry who penned the spot report on the action that day. There was no enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire received that day. John Kerrys report was fiction a hoax on the entire chain of command.
Larry Thurlows heroism and meritorious service, however, is real. To me Larry is one of the heroes of our country. He is a man who served his country when called and who returned home to be a productive citizen. Larry and men like him are the strong backbone of our society. I am proud to have served with him.
Here's the press release:
For Immediate Release
Statement By Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Member Larry Thurlow
I am convinced that the language used in my citation for a Bronze Star was language taken directly from John Kerry's report which falsely described the action on the Bay Hap River as action that saw small arms fire and automatic weapons fire from both banks of the river.
To this day, I can say without a doubt in my mind, along with other accounts from my shipmates -- there was no hostile enemy fire directed at my boat or at any of the five boats operating on the river that day.
I submitted no paperwork for a medal nor did I file an after action report describing the incident. To my knowledge, John Kerry was the only officer who filed a report describing his version of the incidents that occurred on the river that day.
It was not until I had left the Navy -- approximately three months after I left the service -- that I was notified that I was to receive a citation for my actions on that day.
I believed then as I believe now that I received my Bronze Star for my efforts to rescue the injured crewmen from swift boat number three and to conduct damage control to prevent that boat from sinking. My boat and several other swift boats went to the aid of our fellow swift boat sailors whose craft was adrift and taking on water. We provided immediate rescue and damage control to prevent boat three from sinking and to offer immediate protection and comfort to the injured crew.
After the mine exploded, leaving swift boat three dead in the water, John Kerry's boat, which was on the opposite side of the river, fled the scene. US Army Special Forces officer Jim Rassmann, who was on Kerry's boat at the time, fell off the boat and into the water. Kerry's boat returned several minutes later -- under no hail of enemy gunfire -- to retrieve Rassmann from the river only seconds before another boat was going to pick him up.
Kerry campaign spokespersons have conflicting accounts of this incident -- the latest one being that Kerry's boat did leave but only briefly and returned under withering enemy fire to rescue Mr. Rassmann. However, none of the other boats on the river that day reported enemy fire nor was anyone wounded by small arms action. The only damage on that day was done to boat three -- a result of the underwater mine. None of the other swift boats received damage from enemy gunfire.
And in a new development, Kerry campaign officials are now finally acknowledging that while Kerry's boat left the scene, none of the other boats on the river ever left the damaged swift boat. This is a direct contradiction to previous accounts made by Jim Rassmann in the Oregonian newspaper and a direct contradiction to the "No Man Left Behind" theme during the Democratic National Convention.
These ever changing accounts of the Bay Hap River incident by Kerry campaign officials leave me asking one question. If no one ever left the scene of the Bay Hap River incident, how could anyone be left behind?
You're wrong. They have NOTHING WHATEVER to gain by lying. They're not out to get President Bush reelected, that's a Kerry campaign talking point. Not accusing you, it's just that you might be absorbing it without knowing it.
They're out to regain THEIR HONOR, STOLEN BY MEN LIKE HANOI JOHN KERRY WITH THEIR LIES AND COOPERATION WITH THE ENEMY. THEY BELIEVE IN THEIR HEARTS OF HEARTS HE IS A TRAITOR TO HIS BROTHERS IN ARMS AND A TRAITOR TO HIS COUNTRY, WHO CONTINUES BETRAYING BOTH HIS BROTHERS IN ARMS AND SECURITY OF THIS COUNTRY TO THIS DAY. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SIMPLE POLITICS.
IF THEY LIE THEY WILL BE FOUND OUT AND THEY WILL LOSE ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING : SELF RESPECT, QUITE POSSIBLY THEIR FAMILIES, THEIR HONOR, AND THEIR COUNTRY. OUR COUNTRY
AP writers are always ready to go into action at any Democrat's behest.
There has been a Swift boats veterans' association (I don't know its official name.) for years but that's not the same as the SBVfT 527 organization.
I'll try to find their incorporation date or the date they registered as a 527.
John O'Neill has said this from the beginning. He and his fellow Swift Boat Vets were content to let it ride until along came Kerry making his Vietnam 'heroism' the cornerstone of the campaign. Since they knew the truth, they didn't think that a man who would outright lie about his service deserved to be Commander in Chief, not to mention the fact that here he was talking like his Vietnam service was such a wonderful thing when 30 years before, he trashed and slandered Vets as soon as he could when he got home! O'Neill said that was just not right and thought something should be done about it, and he was in a position to debate Kerry having done so during the time Kerry was running around calling his fellow vets baby killers, etc.
The Swift Boats for Truth group formed after it became clear that John Kerry would be the nominee back during the primary.
Kerry served his country in combat. Ok
Kerry came home and lied about his fellow soldiers. What about that? Did he have to? NO! But did he? YES!
Kerry was booted out of Vietnam, he was ticked about it, he came home and purposely destroyed honorable Vets. He discussed assassinations of U.S. Senators for heaven's sake!
What is wrong with you?
Believe me, when we were fired upon all hell broke loose. I recall one incident on one of the boats in our division where the gunners mate on the twin .50s froze up on the triggers and one of the barrels warped resulting in a round exiting through the side of the barrel and through the pilot house.
I always figured the VC used to fire on our Swift Boats just to watch all resulting chaos.
Yes I remember. Kerry was a dangerous loose cannon.
Kerry didn't want to leave? Interesting. I speculated before that Kerry's been mentally unstable most or all of his life. One would almost think he ENJOYED shooting fleeing enemies in the back, and going psycho in a free fire zone for no particular reason, according to some of the accounts. It wasn't jus tthe fleeing but some excerpts of his diary I've read that give me the impression he spent most of that 4 months shivering in abject terror.
His favorite game was to make believe he was King Arthor....must be hard for him to reconcile his sadistic tendancies (all sadists are cowards) with the image of an honorable hero. Looks like he projected his own Dark side onto a hundred thousand innocent men just so he could recreat himself in his Arthor/Prince Charming persona.
Liberals and liars never seem to grasp the "first rule of holes."
Yes, there is certainly a distinction between the vet organization and the 527. From pages 4 and 5 in "Unfit to Command" which I am currently reading, a description is given of the SwiftBoat Vet reunions in Norfolk, VA Summer 2003.
That day Dan Daly, the master of ceremonies introduced many dignitaries in attendence and when the time came to introduce Kerry, Daly said "...who many be the next president of the United States. A deafening silence ensued. Daly was embarrassed and said "I guess I laid an egg with that one".
A year later another Swiftee gathering occured led by Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman, when the Swiftees had written an open letter to Kerry. This was right before the press conference they held in May 2004. Kerry accepted the nomination in what, July?
Do you think these Vietnamese people would speak up and out against Kerry? I think we need to hear from a few of them. Like how their relatives were killed because of Kerry's actions in the VVAW.
Hey, they need a laugh, too!
Seriously, I'm impressed with anyone who can do that. Thanks for your service!
That's very likely true. So what you're saying is that they're only trying to work against Kerry's being elected, they aren't really trying to help President Bush.
O'Neill has stated strongly that the group doesn't care what impact they have regarding GWB's election chances.
Paraphrasing O'Neill: If our efforts hurt the Bush campaign, that's tough. This is about getting to the truth of kerry's service and ours.
I'll try to find the direct quote on that statement.
There was one Christmas entry posted that was just so adolescent and self-pitying that all I could think of was the old 60s song "Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love?" (which I always hated, BTW!). The subject matter was -- obviously -- different, but the tone!
Now you'got me jealous. My copy hasn't arrived yet.
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