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Nearly 500 people have seen the post below and thus far no answers.
But here are a couple more questions. (Almost seems unfair, I know.)
According to official John Kerry press releases,
John Kerry, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam commanding a Swift Boat in the navy, made it clear that as President, keeping faith with veterans would be a personal mission.
And I'm all for the "keeping faith" part. Problem is, according to a Kerry timeline in the Boston Globe:
December 1967: Kerry begins his first tour of duty, serving on the guided-missile frigate USS Gridley.
February 1968: With Kerry aboard, the Gridley sails into war to patrol the coast of Vietnam. He never came into contact with the enemy during this time.
June 6: Kerry's first tour ends as the Gridley returns home.
December: Begins second tour of duty as the skipper of swift boat No. 44, patrolling the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam.
April 1969: Kerry ends his second and final tour in Vietnam.
To be gracious, that's 8 months total, four of which were relatively uneventful, and only one 4-month tour was as a commander of a boat. (And that tour was ended abruptly when Kerry abandoned his command after having received three minor injuries.)
The character of that service is open for discussion in the previous post. The point here is that the quote from Kerry's website "John Kerry, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam commanding a Swift Boat in the navy" is a deceptive one by any reasonable measure. The truth could have been told in very brief sentences, and Mr. Kerry should not be ashamed of the truth.
Is the remainder of the quote true? "...as President, keeping faith with veterans would be a personal mission."
Or just kinda-sorta-approximately true?
Later on in the Globe timeline we learn this:
January 3 1970: Discharged from the Navy.
Feb. 16 1978: Discharged from the US Navy Reserves
An inactive Reserve period? Not if CNN has it right
Military Service: Navy, 1966-1970; Naval Reserves, 1972-1978
That looks like a separate period of service, not a fulfillment of an obligation to inactive Reserve.
Obviously CNN is not a reliable source; no one there knows the difference between active and inactive Reserve status. But if Kerry was in the Reserves I'm not sure why he hasn't released his drill records. My fellow MilBloggers and I would certainly like to see them, I'm sure many other veterans would too. Maybe we could even show the Bush crowd what a real set of military records looks like.
And so my search begins. Of course, Mr. Kerry could save a lot of effort and just release the records now.
I cannot Trackback to this post. Do you have TB's enabled? Or is it me?
Aha. There's the little buggger now! :)Posted by The Commissar at February 20, 2004 11:56 PM
As a Vietnam-era vet who did not serve in-country, it is uncomfortable for me to marginalize the contribution and sacrifice of someone who was. But, frankly, I heard "two tours of duty" and presumed that Kerry served actual 12-13 month tours. That's how his campaign is presenting it. Now you can go to Amazon.com and buy a book by John Kerry about the Vietnam experience! Like a guy who was there for four or five months is the voice of everyone who served?
I was a military journalist during the war. A DINFOS trained killer (that's what they called us). In 1972, it was unlikely that I would have been assigned to to an air base in Vietnam, but possible. It was much more likely that I would have been sent to Thailand or Korea, but wasn't. Instead, I was assigned to Randolph Air Force Base, TX, to work in the 12th FTW/OI. During that time, the unit mission changed to include repatriation of returned POWs, return them to active duty and to train them to be instructor pilots. The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy were on the cutting edge of new generation of instructor pilots: Survivors of actual combat in the air. Sen. John McCain, a real hero who is uncomfortable with the label (unlike Kerry who wears it like a teenager who leaves the tag on his baseball cap) has said, "It doesn't take much talent to get shot down." But it's what so many of those veterans did with their knowledge and experience afterward that make their sacrifices so valuable to our nation.
I am proud to have contributed in some small way towards that effort, and to have personally interviewed many of those ill-fated flyers. I have attended dozens of silver star award ceremonies, filmed them for television, recorded them for radio, and used the citations and interviews to write hometown news releases. The stories were gut-wrenching. If anyone deserved a hero's welcome, it was the returning POW.
Yet, when I returned home to the S.F. Bay Area after my release from active duty, even I was treated like a criminal. People actually called ME a baby killer. I can assure everyone reading this post, we didn't kill any babies in Texas. But that is the kind of irrational anti-war frenzy that was politically correct at the time. It's back with a vengeance, fueled by a self-serving media and a self-loathing populace. It makes me sick that a person can build a challenge for the Presidency upon his history of slandering and inciting hatred for American veterans, many of whose contributions were so much greater than his own.
Thanks very much, John Kerry. If we are to believe your testimony before congress (not an "interview" as it was recently depicted in the media), you are a war criminal. Or you are a horrible leader, unable to control the men under your command. Or you are a liar, and thousands of decent Americans who served honorably have suffered indignities and been shamed because of your political grandstanding and feeble attempts to achieve the star status of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden.
Either way, you are unfit to serve. You really should have thrown away the medals.
the 4 months that Kerry served on a swift boat were hard months at least in I CORP. Do you really want to open a can of worms compare some of your awards with some Marine Grunts.
John Warner who was Secertary of the Navy held the standards for awards very high if you doubt it I have prof with his signature.
For years I would have nothing to do with vets I did not serve with because of exploation of vets after they got home.
The waste of such fine young men made a lot of ous sick. SEMPER FIDELIS Bruce Cader Bravo 1/5
Dec 68 thru Dec 69
Having served in the Corp during VietNam I saw many things I will never forget. We were labled everything from baby killers to warmongers. Kerry said he served two tours in Nam. Maybe so, in his mind. His record in the senate is as deplorable
as his record in action. The only way he kept his seat in the senate, in my view alone, is thru status. He grew up with the Kennedys, calls himself the next JFK. This is a man that will put this country in ruin with his far left thoughts. His idea, with a quote from one of his "running off's at the mouth" speaches, is to do away with the homeland security and treat the threat with "something like a neighborhood watch."
Some americans want everything handed to them , thinking big brother will meet the needs of the ones that do not wish to work. Gimmie-gimmie is all some want, to take and not return. People should stand by our Commander in Chief, President Bush, 100%, no faltering, as he has stood by us, the people of the United States of America.
Two tours of duty, more like what we vets call "two wannabe tours." Remember when Clinton would disembark from the helo, cameras rolling, the Marine guards always on duty, saluting the commander in chief pres. clinton, then ABOUT FACEING away from him, just a reminder of disrespect for the man himself, not his office. More can be expected if kerry is elected.Posted by A. Betsill sr at September 6, 2004 05:44 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)