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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

About those medal citations-

Yesterday a coworker asked my take on John F'n Kerry's service and medals. And while I know you didn't ask, I'm going to repeat it here. The connection to awards and performance reports and supervisors requesting signature-ready reports may not be unique to the military but it is certainly prevalent and maybe you don't know that. So here it is.

Jack, you have been in the military long enough to know that commanding officers do not write reports or decoration submittals, they review and approve almost anything that gets put in front of them. You probably also have known people that are at the front of the line for special treatment- Airman or NCO of the Month or Quarter or BTZ. How did they get there? They submitted themselves for the award or opportunity, just like you wrote your EPR for your boss’ signature or wrote your own decoration citation.

That’s my take on John Kerry’s Purple Hearts and Bronze & Silver Star and it explains why others that received the same medals for the same actions had different views of how things happened. It has been made very clear that John Kerry was quick to write the after-action reports and to submit the applications for his Purple Hearts. It stands to reason that he would have been equally quick to write a commendation for bronze stars for everyone involved if it meant he got one for himself. Additionally, commanders are pretty quick to sign off on decorations for their guys because it makes the commanders look good if their people are being recognized.

Remember, there was a war going on and some of those guys were in Viet Nam for a year or more and they may not have been as interested in receiving medals or what the citations said as they were about staying alive and (finally) getting home to their families, many months after Kerry. And since these vets were not coming home to a hero’s welcome, many of them stuck their medals in the bottom of a drawer or footlocker with little regard for the decoration or the words that came with the medal.

I think that JFK has made a terrible mistake by making his Viet Nam service the point on which he builds his leadership qualities. He has been proven a liar by saying that he was in Cambodia on Christmas in a number of instances when his own diaries and biographer do not support that story and now he has backed up to “sometime in January.” The Democrats have made a mistake by carrying the “military service is a prerequisite to be CiC” banner when their last beloved president for 8 years never served and was as much a draft-dodger, (using legal methods) as those they point fingers at like Cheney or Rove.

More important to me is Kerry’s claims to having the skills to change the intelligence community in our government and uses his 8 years on the Senate Intelligence Committee as his support. Since it has been proven that he missed 76% of the public hearings and won’t disclose his attendance records for the closed meetings, I wonder how this can be an asset.

Ask yourself if you could have kept your job while being unexplainably absent 76% of the time. Nate
I also noticed that this morning, Kerry's staff is reporting that maybe, just maybe, his first Purple Heart decoration was due to an accident- a self inflicted wound... Sorta like that "seared in his memory" made-up story about Christmas in Cambodia that turned out to be a lie. Details at Instapundit if you want to follow the story.

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