Through my eye

A sometimes caustic view of things.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Swift Boat Vets and John Kerry's Vietnam experience

John Kerry and the Democratic Party are using his war experience as a qualification for office. That makes his record in Vietnam subject to scrutiny. That's part of politics. Remember Gary Hart daring the press to get something on him?

I note one blogger says the nonsupportive Swift Boat Vets are claiming Kerry's purple heart wounds were self-inflicted, The term used was "self-reported." There is a world of difference between self-reported and self-inflicted -- the difference between a purple heart and a court-martial.

To me, this is a wait and see situation. It is possible for Kerry to have enlarged upon his resume. In wartime there have been many service men who got minor wounds and never reported them. I am skeptical of the "Band of Brothers" theme shown in the Democratic convention, primarily because four months in service with a group of guys is hardly long enough to develop such strong loyalties. The other bothersome thing is, referring to the usual behavior of true comrades-in-arms and the afore-mentioned minor wound case, most men who become attached to the guys in their units will move heaven and earth to get back to the people they trust.

Maybe Vietnam was a different kind of war and such loyalty wasn't expected or admired, but I don't think so. The real thing -- a person serving with a true band of brothers, doesn't want to let his buddies down -- a man with minor, non-incapacitating wounds would have gone back and served a full tour of duty. I use the term, man, very specifically.

This leaves me with a question as to what Kerry's motivation was in Vietnam and his subsequent actions after returning to the states. However, I'm not ready to condemn him just yet. Lets see what comes out when the dust settles.


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