Subject:  A Texas Soldier's Letter to Senator John Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry:

Since it has become clear that you will probably be the Democratic
nominee for President, I have spent a great deal of time researching
your war record and your record as a professional politician. The reason
is simple, you aspire to be the Commander in Chief who would lead my
sons and their fellow soldiers in time of war. I simply wanted to know if
you possess the necessary qualifications to be trusted in that regard.

You see, I belong to a family of proud U.S. veterans. I was a Captain
in the Army Reserve, my father was a decorated Lieutenant in World War II;
and I have four sons who have either served, or are currently serving in
the military. The oldest is an Army Lieutenant still on active duty in
Afghanistan, after already being honored for his service in Iraq. The
youngest is an E-4 with the military police. His National Guard unit
just finished their second tour of active duty, including six months in
Guantanamo Bay. My two other sons have served in the national guard
and the navy.

In looking at your record I found myself comparing it not only to that of
my father and my sons, but to the people they served with.  My father
served with the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion in Europe. They landed on
Utah Beach and fought for 317 straight days, including the Cherbourg Peninsula,
Aachen, the Hurtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge.  
You earned a Silver
Star in Vietnam for chasing down and finishing off a wounded and retreating
enemy soldier.
My father won a Bronze Star for single handedly charging and
knocking out a German machine gun nest that had his men pinned down.
You received three purple hearts for what appears to be three minor
scratches.  In fact, you only missed a combined total of two days of duty for
these wounds.
The men of my father's unit, the 87th, had to be admonished
by their commanding officer because it had been brought to his attention
that some men were covering up wounds and refusing medical attention for
fear of being evacuated and permanently separated from their organization...
It was also a common occurrence for seriously wounded soldiers to go AWOL from
hospitals in order to rejoin their units.
You, however, used your three purple hearts to
leave Vietnam early.

My oldest boy came home from Iraq with numerous commendations and
then proceeded to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and from there back to
Iraq again.  My sons and father have never had anything but the highest
regard and respect for their fellow soldiers. Yet,
you came home to publicly
charge your fellow fighting men with being war criminals and to urge their
defeat by the enemy.  You even wrote a book that had a cover which mocked
the heroism of the U.S. Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima.
 Our current
crop of soldiers has a philosophy that no one gets left behind; and they have
practiced that from Somalia to the battlefields of the Middle East.  Yet,
as
chairman of a Senate committee looking into allegations that many of your
fellow servicemen had been left behind as prisoners in Vietnam, you chose
to defend the brutal Vietnamese regime.
You even went so far as to refer
to the families of the POWs and MIAs as Professional malcontents, conspiracy
mongers, con artists, and dime-store Rambos.

As a Senator you voted against the 1991 Gulf War, and have repeatedly  voted
against funds to supply our troops with the best equipment, and against
money to improve our intelligence capability.
I find this particularly ironic
since as a Presidential candidate you are highly critical of our pre-war
intelligence in Iraq. However, you did vote to authorize the President to go
to war, but have since proceeded to do everything you can to undermine the
efforts of our government and our troops to win.  Is this what our fighting men
and women can expect of you if you are their Commander in Chief? Will you gladly
send them to war, only to then aid the enemy byundermining the morale of our
troops and cutting off the weapons they need to win?

Our country is at war Senator, and as has been the case in every war since
the American Revolution, a member of my family is serving their country
during the war.  Now you want me to trust you to lead my sons in this fight.

Sorry Senator, but
when I compare your record to those who have fought and
died for this nation, and are currently fighting and dying, the answer is not just no,
but Hell No!

Sincerely,

Michael Connelly
February 14, 2004
Dallas, Texas