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The number of veterans speaking out against John Kerry continues to grow. FrontPage Magazine reproduces this post from a Marine chat net authored by a retired Marine Master Sergeant. It repeats a lot of my recent questions, and sums up a growing number of veteran's thoughts on JFK's illustrious military career. It's full of great quotes, too. "...hardly in Vietnam long enough to get good tan" is among my favorites. (Think what he'd have earned in a full tour!) This guy missed the angle of Kerry abandoning his command, but we know that one already.
Those who insist on using the "ancient history" clause to ignore Kerry's record should skip forward to the second to last paragraph. (We'll talk later.)
I was in the Delta shortly after John Kerry left. I know that area well. I know the operations he was involved in well. I know the tactics and the doctrine used, and I know the equipment. Although I was attached to CTF-116 (PBRs) I spent a fair amount of time with CTF-115 (swift boats), Kerry's command.
Here are my problems and suspicions:
(1) Kerry was in-country less than four months and collected a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. I never heard of anybody with any outfit I worked with (including SEAL One, the Sea Wolves, Riverines and the River Patrol Force) collecting that much hardware that fast, and for such pedestrian actions. The Swifts did a commendable job, but that duty wasn't the worst you could draw. They operated only along the coast and in the major rivers (Bassac and Mekong). The rough stuff in the hot areas was mainly handled by the smaller, faster PBRs.
(2) He collected three Purple Hearts but has no limp. All his injuries were so minor that he lost no time from duty. Amazing luck. Or he was putting himself in for medals every time he bumped his head on the wheel house hatch? Combat on, the boats were almost always at close range. You didn't have minor wounds, at least not often. Not three times in a row. Then he used the three Purple Hearts to request a trip home eight months before the end of his tour. Fishy.
(3) The details of the event for which he was given the Silver Star make no sense at all. Supposedly, a B-40 was fired at the boat and missed. Charlie jumps up with the launcher in his hand, the bow gunner knocks him down with the twin .50, Kerry beaches the boat, jumps off, shoots Charlie, and retreives the launcher. If true, he did everything wrong.
(a) Standard procedure when you took rocket fire was to put your stern to the action and go balls to the wall. A B-40 has the ballistic integrity of a frisbie after about 25 yards, so you put 50 yards or so between you and the beach and begin raking it with your .50's.
(b) Did you ever see anybody get knocked down with a .50 caliber round and get up? The guy was dead or dying. The rocket launcher was empty. There was no reason to go after him (except if you knew he was no danger to you just flopping around in the dust during his last few seconds on earth, and you wanted some derring-do in your after-action report). And we didn't shoot wounded people. We had rules against that, too.
(c) Kerry got off the boat. This was a major breach of standing procedures. Nobody on a boat crew ever got off a boat in a hot area. EVER! The reason was simple: If you had somebody on the beach, your boat was defenseless. It coudn't run and it couldn' t return fire. It was stupid and it put his crew in danger. He should have been relieved and reprimanded. I never heard of any boat crewman ever leaving a boat during or after a firefight.
Something is fishy.
Here we have a JFK wannabe (the guy Halsey wanted to court martial for carelessly losing his boat and getting a couple people killed by running across the bow of a Japanese destroyer) who is hardly in Vietnam long enough to get good tan, collects medals faster than Audie Murphy in a job where lots of medals weren't common, gets sent home eight months early and requests separation from active duty a few months after that so he can run for Congress. In that election, he finds out war heroes don't sell well in Massachsetts in 1970, so he reinvents himself as Jane Fonda, throws his ribbons in the dirt with the cameras running to jump start his political career, gets Stillborn Pell to invite him to address Congress and has Bobby Kennedy's speechwriter to do the heavy lifting. A few years later he winds up in the Senate himself, where he votes against every major defense bill and says the CIA is irrelevant after the Berlin Wall came down. He votes against the Gulf War (a big political mistake since that turned out well), then decides not to make the same mistake twice so votes for invading Iraq -- but that didn't fare as well with the Democrats, so he now says he really didn't mean for Bush to go to war when he voted to allow him to go to war.
I'm real glad you or I never had this guy covering out flanks in Vietnam. I sure don't want him as Commander-in-Chief. I hope that somebody from CTF-115 shows up with some facts challenging Kerry's Vietnam record. I know in my gut it's wildy inflated.
Veterans are deeply divided; while many respect the President, others can't stand John Kerry.
"Veterans are deeply divided; while many respect the President, others can't stand John Kerry". Greyhawk, my hat's off to you. You've got a knack for knifing right through the BS and getting to the heart of the issue.Posted by 1966-67 0311 at February 22, 2004 06:25 AM
That Marine Sergeant sounds like he knows what he's talking about.
Kerry doesn't.Posted by Dan Searles at February 22, 2004 06:56 AM
Kerry has absolutely no visible positions other than to raise taxes, makes no sense whatsoever in his useless sound bites, and has a record that would choke anyone who can read.
If this is the best the donks have, he'll only bring them shame as long as they continue to run him.Posted by recon at February 22, 2004 07:19 PM
Um...it was standard navy policy to offer sailors wounded three times the option of rotating back home.
Kerry took said offer.
For this, he's a bad guy?Posted by JoeF at February 23, 2004 08:43 AM
Yes, considering the wussy and probably fraudulent manner in which he obtained the PH's, and the fact that he is now gloating over his spineless "achievements," Kerry is not only a bad guy, he brings shame on all those who are truly heros fighting for liberty then and now.Posted by DanM at February 23, 2004 08:25 PM
"Kerry has absolutely no visible positions other than to raise taxes, makes no sense whatsoever in his useless sound bites, and has a record that would choke anyone who can read."
One other visible position is his promise to give the United Nations veto power over our national security. And that is more than enough to warrant his defeat.Posted by Cart Williams at February 23, 2004 08:42 PM
Have you heard about the crap Kerry was spewing (apparently addressing Congress back just after he left Vietnam) calling military personnel "monsters?"
Laura Ingraham was playing the soundbite earlier tonight on her show...
ERG! Yet one more reason I will NOT be voting for the JFK wannabe!Posted by Elizabeth at February 24, 2004 01:51 AM
Kerry has no business being President.
But before you totally write off his war record, validate the claims made in this post.
It makes me wonder who was pulling strings for him in high places.Posted by JT_Hunter at February 24, 2004 02:57 AM
Anyone with a day in the military can take down the Snopes piece.
We'll be doing so one bit at a time here in Mudville starting tomorrow.Posted by Greyhawk at February 24, 2004 05:43 AM
this original post is nothing but hey, this sounds fishy, and this probably happened. there is no solid fact in the post other than the medals Kerry received. and at least he didn't wimp out in the national guard.Posted by timmy at February 24, 2004 06:04 AM
Have you ever gotten a veteran from Vietnam to talk about his experiences "in country." What I mean by that is, have them describe their experiences about/in combat? I've talked with many who were there, and to a man, none would expand much past the phrases one hears: it was hell, I did my time, etc. Never has any one of these men who served their country well, elaborated much past that. None were officers. All were "grunts." (sorry if that isn't a term used by all services, but I am at a loss for an all inclusive term) To a man, they would not talk about what they experienced, except for the occasional comment like, " I wouldn't have minded being there, except for the three speeding tickets I got,": that from a truck driver who hauled ammo all the time. So, I find it peculiar that here is a man running for President who can't respond to any question asked of him no matter what the subject, that isn't preceeded by his reference to having served there. I can full understand why so many veterans can't stand the man. And a good reason not to vote for him.Posted by Stewart at February 24, 2004 06:34 AM
timmy, perhaps you could like to elaborate further on your comment about "wimping out" in the National Guard. If you'd like, you can read about the First Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, Florida Army National Guard here:
1/124th is returning from Iraq after a year of duty. As a matter of fact, there are thousands of Reservists and Guardsmen in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, who are, as you put it, "wimping out".
So, please, elaborate away.Posted by Michael at February 24, 2004 02:38 PM
if the best snopes can do is cite the Boston Globe (owned by those same folks who also bring you the New York Times) 'puff piece' on Kerry, then I have no further use for snopes and their much-vaunted 'research'Posted by recon at February 24, 2004 09:08 PM
No doubt Kerry earned his 3 Purple Hearts, albeit for minor injuries that hardly cost him any missed days. As for his Silver & Bronze Star medals, he was (apparently) legitimately written up for them, even if the actions he participated in pale in comparison to those of others who received far less recognition for their efforts.
The point is, even if he *was* a bonafide war hero, he blew it all when he returned home and joined the VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against the War). Associating with Jane Fonda, throwing away his medals to make a "statement," bastardizing the Iwo Jima flag-raising on the cover of a liberal magazine (complete with upside down U.S. flag)... the list goes on and on.
It's not his war record but his post-war record I have a problem with.Posted by HarveyUSMC at February 26, 2004 01:53 AM
And yes, I serve in the military so I can comment!Posted by HarveyUSMC at February 26, 2004 01:55 AM
When were Marines in the Delta??? Humeston, Sgt, 2016927, Echo 2/4 , The Magnificent Bastards. June 65- December 66. I Corps
Semper FiPosted by Michael humeston at March 5, 2004 04:30 AM
I tried to keep an open mind and read the book by Douglas Brinkley-Tour of Duty -John Kerry and the Vietnam War. On the first page of the prologue Kerry asked "the Foreign Relations Committee and beyond them to the nation at large:'How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake'?" I guess we were trained a little differently in the Marine Corps. Number one, there is a first and last man to die in any conflict, however unfortunate it may seem. Second, Kerry was a Lieutenant (j.g) probably one of the most dangerous (to himself and others) uninformed ranks in any military service. Third, and most importantly, any one's individual's opinion on anything is just that. Wars, battles, missions differ so greatly based on enemy situation, your position, your training and that of your men, etc. It is okay to state, write books, and give you experiences to all. But don't tell me that is what went on over the length of the war, all over the country, by all servicemen. I flew in Huey gunships in Phu Bai and never got south of Chu Lai, An Hoa or Hoi An,so I would never say what we experienced was countrywide. In short, I feel the Mr. Kerry pissed down my back and told me it was raining. Bottom line is that he was protesting while we still had servicemen left behind, still fighting or missing in action. Mr. Kerry still doesn't get it.
John Kerry should be run out of this country. His wife is a disgrace to the American working man. I would not give them the time of day. They are a direct source of lies and harm to this nation.
May God Save Us