"Cleland isn't a good example of a phony PH because he was wounded during combat operations. It doesn't matter who blew him up."
Being wounded during an operation in Vietnam did not necessarily authorize the award of a Purple Heart. The wound had to be the result of enemy fire. The way I read the Max Cleland wounding was that it occurred during an administrative landing of a helicopter on a secured LZ on a U.S. firebase. The helicopter had landed, some passengers had exited the helicopter, and Cleland decided at the last minute to stay at the firebase and meet with friends who were assigned there. Cleland threw his gear off the helicopter, jumped off, picked up his gear and started to walk away when he looked back and saw a U.S. hand grenade laying on the ground where his gear had been. Thinking he had accidentally dropped the grenade, he turned around to pick it up, and as he reached for it, the grenade exploded. This was undoubtedly a tragic accident but was not the result of enemy fire and would not normally have resulted in the award of a Purple Heart.
I don't know if anyone ever did a statistical study on the subject, but from personal experience, I witnessed almost as many U.S. troops wounded or killed by either accident or by friendly fire in Vietnam as I did by enemy fire. But then, no unit I served with ever took a good ass kicking.
posted on 01/15/2006 1:39:00 PM PST
by DJ Taylor
(Once again our country is at war, and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
To: DJ Taylor
Accidents don't count. During a rocket attack, a friend of mine busted a wing diving for cover. Ruled an accident. during another rocket attack several of us were rained on by shrapnel. Also accidental.
While in Danang, we got an occasional afternoon at China Beach in country R&R and recuperation area for those dinged up in action. Some got PHs, some didn't.
posted on 01/15/2006 3:38:05 PM PST
(I once opposed keelhauling but recently have come to my senses.)
To: DJ Taylor
"I witnessed almost as many U.S. troops wounded or killed by either accident or by friendly fire in Vietnam as I did by enemy fire."
Not just in Vietnam. Since man started using projectile weapons he has been accidentally killing or wounding his buddies and himself. Explosives just added to the problem and "smart" weapons will probably make it worse for a while.
I believe you are right about the rules but it would be a rare doc who didn't sign off on a PH for wounds as serious as Cleland's
posted on 01/15/2006 5:36:48 PM PST
(no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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