Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Some veterans remember unflattering images of Kerry

Dear editor:

A recent Letter to the editor titled "Ads more than an attack against Kerry" requires a response due to a total lack of any military acumen and the naivety demonstrated.

The level of chagrin in my office when I showed this article to a retired Colonel (USA Armour), a reserve Major (West Point Grad) and an E-5 Sgt. (Infantry -- who volunteered for Active Duty and Iraq) was universal.

Incidentally, this group has among them the following: two CIB's (the article writer may wish to research what this acronym is), two silver stars, one bronze star and two purple hearts.

Why the chagrin (and Kerry's poor reception at the VFW convention)? Most veterans, myself among them, remember Kerry throwing away "his medals" in protest of the Vietnam war and his speeches against them -- as well as the war. This is what dishonors military decorations (medals for the uninformed). This is why veterans of all ages are worried about Mr. Kerry.

That we have to question whether or not Mr. Kerry was in Cambodia or not, whether or not medals are in error, gives substantial insight into the character of the person who will lead this nation into what is truly a fight for our existence.

Now Kerry is not sure if he was in Cambodia or not. My college roommate was -- he has never forgotten as he was the second platoon leader of the first company into Cambodia. How could Kerry forget? The surgeon who treated him for a superficial shrapnel wound from his own M-79 round withdrew Kerry's PH; only to have Kerry resubmit the report after the surgeon rotated.

The actions of "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" proves that, with the DNC, truth can be personally dangerous the way these veterans are attacked. Bush released his military records; why does not Kerry do the same? NOTE: this is not Bush -- this is an independent group. George Soros of moveon.org is who should apologize for financially degrading our campaign process.

This episode reminds me of another "trustworthy person" who said " I did not have sex with that woman." Simply release the records of all involved. I believe that character is a trait that is paramount for one who would lead our nation and its military.

The article referenced troops coming and going from Iraq. I have had the honor of discussing Iraq with sons of friends who are back and troopers who have just landed in the US from Iraq -- they are easy to spot because they are in desert BDU's.

I make it a point to buy their lunch/dinner and/or beverages of their choice. The one universal comment they have is that the progress being made is NOT reported.

They say it looks like different wars when they see the U.S. media reports.

We should be discussing other issues -- but Kerry's speech made this an issue to veterans not the opposition party.

Incidentally, the "Marine Special Forces Officer" referred to in the referenced editor letter is another error. There is NOT a Marine special forces -- special forces are Army; thus, the individual referenced was Army -- a minor point that demonstrates the lack of facts and appreciation of this critical situation.

Gene Brown

Former Vernon County