All gave some…
Some gave all…
And some got a few shaving nick’s and declared himself a hero…
Thought you might be interested in some of the faces behind the statements
on John Kerry's war record.
"We resent very deeply the false war crimes charges he made coming back
from Vietnam in 1971 and repeated in the book "Tour of Duty." We think
those cast an aspersion on all those living and dead, from our unit and
other units in Vietnam. We think that he knew he was lying when he made
the charges, and we think that they're unsupportable. We intend to bring
the truth about that to the American people.
"I do not believe John Kerry is fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the armed
forces of the United States. This is not a political issue. It is a matter
of his judgment, truthfulness, reliability, loyalty and trust -- all
absolute tenets of command. His biography, 'Tour of Duty,' by Douglas
Brinkley, is replete with gross exaggerations, distortions of fact,
contradictions and slanderous lies. His contempt for the military and
authority is evident by even a most casual review of this biography. He
arrived in-country with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving
determination to build a foundation for his political future. He was
aggressive, but vain and prone to impulsive judgment, often with disregard
for specific tactical assignments. He was a 'loose cannon.' In an
abbreviated tour of four months and 12 days, and with his specious medals
secure, Lt.(jg) Kerry bugged out and began his infamous betrayal of all
United States forces in the Vietnam War. That included our soldiers, our
marines, our sailors, our coast guardsmen, our airmen, and our POWs. His
leadership within the so-called Vietnam Veterans Against the War and
testimony before Congress in 1971 charging us with unspeakable atrocities
remain an undocumented but nevertheless meticulous stain on the men and
women who honorably stayed the course. Senator Kerry is not fit for
"During Lt.(jg) Kerry's tour, he was under my command for two or three
specific operations, before his rapid exit. Trust, loyalty and judgment
are the key, operative words. His turncoat performance in 1971 in his
grubby shirt and his medal-tossing escapade, coupled with his slanderous
lines in the recent book portraying us that served, including all POWs and
MIAs, as murderous war criminals, I believe, will have a lasting effect on
all military veterans and their families.
"Thirty-five years ago, many of us fell silent when we came back to the
stain of sewage that Mr. Kerry had thrown on us, and all of our colleagues
who served over there. I don't intend to be silent today or ever again.
Our young men and women who are serving deserve no less."
"In my specific, personal experience in both coastal and river patrols
over a 12-month period, I never once saw or heard anything remotely
resembling the atrocities described by Senator Kerry. If I had, it would
have been my obligation to report them in writing to a higher authority,
and I would certainly have done that. If Senator Kerry actually witnessed
or participated in these atrocities or, as he described them, 'war
crimes,' he was obligated to report them. That he did not until later when
it suited his political purposes strikes me as opportunism of the worst
kind. That he would malign my service and that of his fellow sailors with
no regard for the truth makes him totally unqualified to serve as
"I signed that letter because I, too felt a deep sense of betrayal that
someone who took the same oath of loyalty as I did as an officer in the
United States Navy would abandon his group here (points to group photo) to
join this group here (points to VVAW protest photo), and come home and
attempt to rally the American public against the effort that this group
was so valiantly pursuing.
"My daughters and my wife have read portions of the book 'Tour of Duty.'
They wanted to know if I took part in the atrocities described. I do not
believe the things that are described happened.
"While in Cam Rahn Bay, he trained on several 24-hour indoctrination
missions, and one special skimmer operation with my most senior and
trusted Lieutenant. The briefing from some members of that crew the
morning after revealed that they had not received any enemy fire, and yet
Lt.(jg) Kerry informed me of a wound -- he showed me a scratch on his arm
and a piece of shrapnel in his hand that appeared to be from one of our
own M-79s. It was later reported to me that Lt.(jg) Kerry had fired an
M-79, and it had exploded off the adjacent shoreline. I do not recall
being advised of any medical treatment, and probably said something like
'Forget it.' He later received a Purple Heart for that scratch, and I have
no information as to how or whom.
"Lt. Kerry returned home from the war to make some outrageous statements
and allegations... of numerous criminal acts in violation of the law of
war were cited by Kerry, disparaging those who had fought with honor in
that conflict. Had war crimes been committed by US forces in Vietnam? Yes,
but such acts were few and far between. Yet Lt. Kerry have numerous
speeches and testimony before Congress inappropriately leading his
audiences to believe that what was only an anomaly in the conduct of
America's fighting men was an epidemic. Furthermore, he suggested that
they were being encouraged to violated the law of war by those within the
chain of command.
"We look at Vietnam... after all these years it is still languishing in
isolated poverty and helplessness and tyranny. This is John Kerry's
legacy. I deeply resent John Kerry's using his Swift boat experience, and
his betrayal of those who fought there as a stepping-stone to his
"In a whole year that I spent patrolling, I didn't see anything like a war
crime, an atrocity, anything like that. Time and again I saw American
fighting men put themselves in graver danger trying to avoid... collateral
"I served with these guys. I went on missions with them, and these men
served honorably. Up and down the chain of command there was no
acquiescence to atrocities. It was not condoned, it did not happen, and it
was not reported to me verbally or in writing by any of these men
including Lt.(jg) Kerry.
"During the Vietnam War I was Task Force Commander at An Thoi, and my tour
of duty was 13 months, from the end of Tet to the beginning of the
Vietnamization of the Navy units.
"I was in An Thoi from June of '68 to June of '69, covering the whole
period that John Kerry was there. I operated in every river, in every
canal, and every off-shore patrol area in the 4th Corps area, from
Cambodia all the way around to the Bo De River. I never saw, even heard of
all of these so-called atrocities and things that we were supposed to have
"In 1971, when John Kerry spoke out to America, labeling all Vietnam
veterans as thugs and murderers, I was shocked and almost brought to my
knees, because even though I had served at the same time and same unit, I
had never witnessed or participated in any of the events that the Senator
had accused us of. I strongly believe that the statements made by the
Senator were not only false and inaccurate, but extremely harmful to the
United States' efforts in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
Tragically, some veterans, scorned by the antiwar movement and their
allies, retreated to a life of despair and suicide. Two of my crewmates
were among them. For that there is no forgiveness. "
"My name is Steve Gardner. I served in 1966 and 1967 on my first tour of
duty in Vietnam on Swift boats, and I did my second tour in '68 and '69,
involved with John Kerry in the last 2 1/2 months of my tour. The John
Kerry that I know is not the John Kerry that everybody else is portraying.
I served alongside him and behind him, five feet away from him in a gun
tub, and watched as he made indecisive moves with our boat, put our boats
in jeopardy, put our crews in jeopardy... if a man like that can't handle
that 6-man crew boat, how can you expect him to be our
"I served in Vietnam as a boat officer from June of 1968 to July of 1969.
My service was three months in Coastal Division 13 out of Cat Lo, and nine
months with Coastal Division 11 based in An Thoi. John Kerry was in An
Thoi the same time I was. I'm here today to express the anger I have
harbored for over 33 years, about being accused with my fellow shipmates
of war atrocities.
"I never saw, heard of, or participated in any Swift boat crews killing
cattle, poisoning crops, or raping and killing civilians as charged by
John Kerry, both in his book and in public statements. Since we both
operated at the same time, in the same general area, and on the same
missions under the same commanders, it is hard to believe his claims of
atrocities and poor planning of Sea Lord missions.