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Monday, March 15, 2004

Kerry's Citation
Finally found John Kerry's Silver Star citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Coastal Division ELEVEN engaged in armed conflict with Viet Cong insurgents in An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam on 28 February 1969. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY was serving as Officer in Charge of Patrol Craft Fast 94 and Officer in Tactical Command of a three-boat mission. As the force approached the target area on the narrow Dong Cung River, all units came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from an entrenched enemy force less than fifty-feet away. Unhesitatingly Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered his boat to attack as all units opened fire and beached directly in front of the enemy ambushers. This daring and courageous tactic surprised the enemy and succeeded in routing a score of enemy soldiers. The PCF gunners captured many enemy weapons in the battle that followed. On a request from U.S. Army advisors ashore, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered PCF's 94 and 23 further up river to suppress enemy sniper fire. After proceeding approximately eight hundred yards, the boats were again take under fire from a heavily foliated area and B-40 rocked exploded close aboard PCF 94; with utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets, he again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy. Upon sweeping the area an immediate search uncovered an enemy rest and supply area which was destroyed. The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

A couple of things to note:

  • Kerry, being the senior officer present, almost certainly wrote this citation up for himself. People who write themselves up for medals are, well, to put it mildly, not well thought of.

  • I don't see anything here out of the ordinary. He got shot at and shot back. Big deal.

  • His allegedly "really brave thing" was to jump off the boat and kill one guy that was already badly wounded.

  • Kerry got out of the theater after only four months, as soon as he could, using the "Three Purple Heart" rule. None of his purple hearts required much more than a band-aid.

  • Here's one vet's view of Kerry's "heroism"

I'm really starting to despise this weasel.

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