Skip to comments.The incredible shrinking medals of Lt. John Kerry
Posted on 05/09/2004 8:22:24 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
I once was impressed by John Kerry's war record, but no more. For one thing, I'm puzzled he served in Vietnam just four months. Did he fight simply to decorate his resume?
By most accounts, he already was planning to be the next president from Massachusetts with the initials JFK. So why would he join a war that he opposed, unless it was to earn political credibility?
Then there's his first Purple Heart, the one he earned on Dec. 2, 1968, near Cam Ranh Bay. The more you learn about it, the more you snicker.
According to a report by Byron York at the National Review, the doctor who treated Kerry Louis Letson is now living in Alabama and has written down his recollections of the event.
Kerry sought medical care for an arm wound, attributing it to a firefight. Letson writes: "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 centimeter in length and was about 2 or 3 millimeters in diameter."
So, "I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. 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."
Letson concluded: "The wound was covered with a Band-Aid."
A Purple Heart for a Band-Aid? Sounds like a Purple Hoax to me.
Actually, Kerry's request for a medal makes sense when you remember why he was in country in the first place. Might he have seen the scratch as possibly his one and only chance to collect a medal? How could he pass it up?
Ah, you say, but what about his Bronze Star and Silver Star? Fair question. Here is what I have learned:
Kerry earned his Bronze Star on March 13, 1969, when a mine detonated near his boat in the Bay Hap River.
A Green Beret fell overboard. Amid fire from both banks, Kerry turned his boat around, reached the soldier and pulled him to safety.
He earned his Silver Star on Feb. 28, 1969, when the Viet Cong fired a B-40 rocket at his boat. Kerry's bow gunner knocked down the enemy with fire from his twin .50-caliber machine guns.
But the man got back up and started running away. Kerry jumped out of his boat, chased him down and finished him off.
I won't quibble. I've never been to war. If the Navy brass says Kerry deserved these two stars, I'll take their word.
Unfortunately, Kerry's bravery ended when he returned to the States. To me, two disreputable moments stand out.
The first was on April 23, 1971, when Kerry and 800 other veterans tossed their medals over a fence in front of the Capitol.
Now when a veteran makes such a gesture, you have to give him tremendous credit for conviction. But Kerry did not throw away his medals; he just pretended. Pretended!
The medals he threw belonged to other men. His own were in safekeeping in New York. He has them today, framed handsomely.
This is not bravery. This is cheap theater opportunistic, hypocritical and deceitful.
The second disreputable moment came the same week, when Kerry spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
According to Kerry, our soldiers "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."
The matter of Lt. William Calley notwithstanding, few believed many of our soldiers were heinous criminals.
On "The Dick Cavett Show" on June 30, 1971, a fellow veteran, John O'Neill, wondered how Kerry had seen so many atrocities in just four months. O'Neill served 18 months and saw zero atrocities.
Kerry now seems to realize how inflated and harmful were his accusations. On "Meet the Press" some weeks ago, he conceded his use of the word "atrocities" was inappropriate.
"I mean, if you wanted to ask me have you ever made mistakes in your life, sure," Kerry said. "I think some of the language that I used was a language that reflected an anger. It was honest, but it was in anger, it was a little bit excessive."
So, adding it all up, here's what Kerry's count looks like to me:
He got two real Purple Hearts, but they're negated by his fake Purple Heart.
He got a Bronze Star, but it's negated by his fake medal toss.
He got a Silver Star, but it's negated by his fake atrocity tale.
Sorry, Lieutenant. Your story is over. Pack it up and go home. We already have the leader we need in the White House.
George Bush never won any medals, and he never was the target of an enemy bullet. But he has something more important going for him: He never slandered our soldiers. He honors them. So for me, this makes him the only decent choice for commander in chief in November.
Michael Bowers is a copy editor and page designer for The Star. His column appears every other Sunday. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
This writer certainly has a way with words! Good opinion piece. Will it get very wide distribution in the Chicago area?
And does he note in the commercial that these are not 'actual footage,' or is there ground to be gained pointing out that these are staged shots being passed off as real?
"The metal fragment measured about 1 centimeter in length and was about 2 or 3 millimeters in diameter." "
Reference.....for the metric impaired.
One inch is equal to 2.54cm....So Mr. Ketchup's "frag"ment was less than 1/2 inch in length..and about the width of the space betweenthe two periods at the end of this sentence..
So basically about half a tooth pick....
Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner!
"But the man got back up and started running away. Kerry jumped out of his boat, chased him down and finished him off."
I'm sure all sort of people get up after being hit with a .50 caliber machinegun. The idiot comedy that is Kerry's war record continues.
What should also be noted is who stopped further killing. It was other Americans whom landed in choppers and drew arms on Calley's troops. Calley was an aberration. The Americans that stopped the killing are the norm.
Hoover: In charge of US famine relief in Europe after World War I
FDR: Assistant Sec'y of the Navy, World War I
Truman: Army Captain, World War I
Ike: Well we know about him
Kennedy: PT 109 etc.
Johnson: Served in WWII
Carter: WWII era West Point grad, Navy officer
Reagan: Served during WWII
Bush I: Pilot, WWII
So when Kerry decided to run for president (as Gore did) when he was 11 years old, he knew that miltary service, especially in a shooting war, was a prerequiste. Getting a few medals, even better. IMO, that's the only reason he went to Vietnam.