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yeah, funny thing: kerry's an actual war hero...
Published on July 30, 2004 By russellmz2 In Politics
A critique of an article by Draginol.
Overwhelmingly, they reject him. Described variously as a glory hound, he apparently took a home movie camera with him in which he reinacted various events in front of the camera in an effort to glorify what he did.
You do know that the head of the group didn't serve with Kerry, right? That he was on the boat, AFTER Kerry left. You do know that this, right?
I don't know enough on this to know how much of it is usual political propaganda or not.
However, I think it is very telling that so few people who served with him have any respect for him. That is very counter to the normal way of things between men who served together in combat.
Define "served". A large number of those guys were his officers telling him to go out. They just showed 8 or 9 guys at the convention tonight on stage with him. Swift boats aren't that big. Crew of 5. Where are these extra guys signing the letter coming from?
Even his Purple Hearts have some dispute about them: (USA Today)
Criticism Of Kerry’s Purple Heart Is Just


Letson also confirmed that the scratch was inflicted with our M-79.” …
You do know that Purple Hearts are awarded even if you injure yourself firing at the enemy, right? No one disputes that he was hit. There is no "wound's not big enough, whiny" clause in the eligibility requirements.
(8) After 7 December 1941, by weapon fire while directly engaged in armed conflict, regardless of the fire causing the wound.
“Kerry orchestrated his way out of Vietnam – and then testified under oath before Congress that we, his comrades, had committed horrible war crimes. This testimony was a lie – and slandered honorable men. We who were actually there believe he is unfit to command our sons and daughters. “

Grant Hibbard, retired commander U.S. Navy, Gulf Breeze, Fla.
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Grant Hibbard, grading Kerry's fitness reports:
For the most part, Mr. Hibbard wrote, Mr. Kerry was under his command for too short a time to evaluate him fully. Of 16 categories for rating, including professional knowledge, moral courage and loyalty, Mr. Hibbard checked "not observed" in 12. Mr. Hibbard gave Mr. Kerry the highest rating of "one of the top few" in three categories — initiative, cooperation and personal behavior. He gave Mr. Kerry the second-best rating, "above the majority," in military bearing
Another guy who I am pretty sure signed the letter:
For example, George M. Elliot, his commander in early 1969, wrote, "In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action, Lt. j.g. Kerry was unsurpassed."

Mr. Elliot added, "His bearing and appearance are above reproach."
Unfit to command our sons and daughters, huh?
And that is what is so odd about this. Kerry has made his Vietnam service such a center point of his campaign. And yet, at the end of the day, what actually was that service? 4 months in Vietnam...
Wow, a non-soldier questioning someone for getting out of a war after getting multiple wounds per the 'get wounded three times and you can request reassignment' regulation...gee, that's "shameful". And Kerry still kicks Bush's ass on this point.
Another question is why he was allowed to end Guard duty about six months early to attend Harvard Business School. Bush said Sunday that he had "worked it out with the military. And I'm just telling you, I did my duty."
Republicans, why bother? It's Kerry's most legitimate, strongest point. Don't you read Art of War? You're attacking him with your weakest against his strongest. It was a good try, but seriously, you don't have a case.
He takes advantage of the fact that most people think of Purple Hearts as being medals for serious wounds when, in his case, 1 of them may have been self-inflicted and the other 2 were for minor injuries.
So he has to preface every listings of his medal detailing out the requirements for the Purple Heart? Six inches probably separates a "minor wound" and a "enough injury to satisfy Republicans".

from (btw, Zumwalt's son signed the letter in his father's name or something)
Under [Navy Admiral Elmo] Zumwalt's command, swift boats would aggressively engage the enemy. Zumwalt, who died in 2000, calculated in his autobiography that these men under his command had a 75 percent chance of being killed or wounded during a typical year. "There were an awful lot of Purple Hearts — from shrapnel, some of those might have been M-40 grenades," said George Elliott, Kerry's commanding officer. "The Purple Hearts were coming down in boxes. Kerry, he had three Purple Hearts. None of them took him off duty. Not to belittle it, that was more the rule than the exception."
Requirements for the Purple Heart don't mention anything about spurting blood and guts. Go to a VFW or VA hospital. Ask them what they think of a "minor wound" Purple Heart. Any vets on Joeuser? Please, let us know what you think of Purple Hearts for "minor" wounds.
That isn't to say that he has anything to be ashamed of. But given the war records of Bush Sr. and Bob Dole, neither of whom made anywhere near as much noise about their military career, it is rather stunning that all the valor noise coming from Kerry and his supporters is based on so little.
This befuddles me the most. For all the jokes about Kerry toting his Vietnam record, do you actually know the stories behind his Bronze and Silver Stars? Listed below.
On Feb. 28, 1969, Kerry's boat received word that a swift boat was being ambushed. As Kerry raced to the scene, his boat became another target, as a Viet Cong B-40 rocket blast shattered a window. Kerry could have ordered his crew to hit the enemy and run. But the skipper had a more aggressive reaction in mind. Beach the boat, Kerry ordered, and the craft's bow was quickly rammed upon the shoreline. Out of the bush appeared a teenager in a loin cloth, clutching a grenade launcher.

An enemy was just feet away, holding a weapon with enough firepower to blow up the boat. Kerry's forward gunner, [Tommy] Belodeau, shot and clipped the Viet Cong in the leg. Then Belodeau's gun jammed, according to other crewmates (Belodeau died in 1997). [Michael] Medeiros tried to fire at the Viet Cong, but he couldn't get a shot off.

In an interview, Kerry added a chilling detail.

"This guy could have dispatched us in a second, but for . . . I'll never be able to explain, we were literally face to face, he with his B-40 rocket and us in our boat, and he didn't pull the trigger. I would not be here today talking to you if he had," Kerry recalled. "And Tommy clipped him, and he started going [down.] I thought it was over."

Instead, the guerrilla got up and started running. "We've got to get him, make sure he doesn't get behind the hut, and then we're in trouble," Kerry recalled.

So Kerry shot and killed the guerrilla. "I don't have a second's question about that, nor does anybody who was with me," he said. "He was running away with a live B-40, and, I thought, poised to turn around and fire it." Asked whether that meant Kerry shot the guerrilla in the back, Kerry said, "No, absolutely not. He was hurt, other guys were shooting from back, side, back. There is no, there is not a scintilla of question in any person's mind who was there [that] this guy was dangerous, he was a combatant, he had an armed weapon."

... The crewman with the best view of the action was Frederic Short, the man in the tub operating the twin guns. Short had not talked to Kerry for 34 years, until after he was recently contacted by a Globe reporter. Kerry said he had "totally forgotten" Short was on board that day.

Short had joined Kerry's crew just two weeks earlier, as a last-minute replacement, and he was as green as the Arkansas grass of his home. He said he didn't realize that he should have carried an M-16 rifle, figuring the tub's machine guns would be enough. But as Kerry stood face to face with the guerrilla carrying the rocket, Short realized his predicament. With the boat beached and the bow tilted up, a guard rail prevented him from taking aim at the enemy. For a terrifying moment, the guerrilla looked straight at Short with the rocket.

Short believes the guerrilla didn't fire because he was too close and needed to be a suitable distance to hit the boat squarely and avoid ricochet debris. Short tried to protect his skipper.

"I laid in fire with the twin .50s, and he got behind a hootch," recalled Short. "I laid 50 rounds in there, and Mr. Kerry went in. Rounds were coming everywhere. We were getting fire from both sides of the river. It was a canal. We were receiving fire from the opposite bank, also, and there was no way I could bring my guns to bear on that."

Short said there is "no doubt" that Kerry saved the boat and crew. "That was a him-or-us thing, that was a loaded weapon with a shape charge on it . . . It could pierce a tank. I wouldn't have been here talking to you. I probably prayed more up that creek than a Southern Baptist church does in a month."

Charles Gibson, who served on Kerry's boat that day because he was on a one-week indoctrination course, said Kerry's action was dangerous but necessary. "Every day you wake up and say, 'How the hell did we get out of that alive?'" Gibson said. "Kerry was a good leader. He knew what he was doing."


Indeed, the Silver Star citation makes clear that Kerry's performance on that day was both extraordinary and risky. "With utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets," the citation says, Kerry "again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only 10 feet from the Viet Cong rocket position and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy . . . The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lt. Kerry in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission."


Snopes: According to Kerry's Bronze Star citation (signed by Admiral Zumwalt himself):

Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry was serving as an Officer-in-Charge of Inshore Patrol Craft 94, one of five boats conducting a Sealords operation in the Bay Hap River. While exiting the river, a mine detonated under another Inshore Patrol Craft and almost simultaneously, another mine detonated wounding Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry in the right arm. In addition, all units began receiving small arms and automatic weapons fire from the river banks. When Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry discovered he had a man overboard, he returned upriver to assist. The man in the water was receiving sniper fire from both banks. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry directed his gunners to provide suppressing fire, while from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain and with disregard for his personal safety, he pulled the man aboard. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry then directed his boat to return to and assist the other damaged boat to safety. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


{first Purple Heart}
Just as they moved out onto the Cua Lon, at a junction known for unfriendliness in the past, kaboom! PCF-94 had taken a rocket-propelled grenade round off the port side, fired at them from the far left bank. Kerry felt a piece of hot shrapnel bore into his left leg. With blood running down the deck, the Swift managed to make an otherwise uneventful exit into the Gulf of Thailand, where they rendezvoused with a Coast Guard cutter. The injury Kerry suffered in that action earned his his second Purple Heart.

And yet, at the end of the day, what actually was that service?
Yes, what service indeed. Vote Kerry '04.

I have to sleep soon. But here is some swiftboat vets information from another forum. Haven't checked this all info out yet. So keep an open mind, double check sources, etc. Confirm for yourself instead of just reading one guy's blog and swallowing the story. (Scroll down to get additional links on that page)

by: triggercut Why, Malderi is referring to these non-partisan folks, the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, who kicked off their organization and website on May 4 by stating a claim exactly like the one Mal is referring to.

Unfortunately for Malderi, it's a lie.

Here's Disinfopedia's deconstruction of the SwiftVets. Show of hands by anyone who's stunned to see Merri Spaeth's involvement with this group. No? I thought not.

These folks did send a letter to Kerry all right. The letter is signed by Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN, Captain Charley Plumly, USN (ret), Mr. Alvin A. (Andy) Horne, Mr. Bill Lannom, Mr. John O'Neill, Mr. Wey Symmes, and Mr. William W. Franke. Stunningly, only one of these signees were ever in a position to be considered one of Kerry's "commanding officers" and none were ever directly superior to him. John O'Neill, the most visible and vocal of these critics never even met Kerry face-to-face until they had a 90-minute debate on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971.

That's so laughably NOT "every commanding officer" that it doesn't deserver further elaboration. Read up if you want.

Here's some more reading and research on the Swift Vets.

on Jul 30, 2004

i can understand former military personnel working in opposition to a political candidate whether he happened to serve with them in combat or not.  ill never be able to understand how they can allow themselves to diminish the actions of a decorated former comrade in arms when by so doing, they diminish the value of every decoration awarded to every other heroic soldier in that conflict

on Jul 30, 2004
One man that served UNDER Kerry for 2.5 months (out of the 4 he served) on his swift boat appeared on Medved and O'Reilly today/tonight says that Kerry was an idiot in Vietnam. He constantely put his men at risk for no reason. AND the picture of Kerry with the flak jacket and Fragmentation grenades is a fake. Kerry and ALL OTHER MEN who served in the Navy in Vietnam were not issued fragmentation granades. They were banned by international law at the time. The navy only issued it's Swift Boat officers and opperators FLASH Grenades.

BTW I do not dispute Kerry's Vietnam record. He served our country honorably. However, it's the decades that Kerry has been in the US Senate that I dispute. What has he done? Nothing worthy of talking about in his speech... nothing worthy of showing in his nine minute video. Pretty sad.

What has Kerry done in the US Senate. NAME the bills that have past that have his name on them. Or, name the single handful of bills that have even NOT passed that have his name on them. Go ahead, do it.
on Jul 31, 2004
name the bush bills with his name on them. if it doesn't have his name i guess it doesn't count as his stuff right?

i don't have a picture of kerry that you describe. make an article if it interests you so much.

also, you do know that kerry and another captain protested to his superior officers that the swift boat runs were dangerous and stupid, right? the guy he protested to, is one of the guys that signed that anti-kerry letter. (the other captain died when his swift boat was blown up)

btw, kerry (with his friend john mccain) helped open up good relations with vietnam, and pushed for an accounting of mia's and pow's. that's off the top of my head. if you think kerry somehow just sat on his butt for decades

on Aug 01, 2004
His senate career primarily emphasized investigative work, not legislation. It was a solid career. Not a stellar one, but a successful one. Which is not to say that he had no legislation, but it's not where his passion and energy went.