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Veterans Will Not Be Silenced

Veterans have earned the right to speak (pro or con) on either candidate. In this e-mail from a special forces vet making his case against Kerry, the bolded line really jumped out and grabbed me.

The airways and Internet has been full of pro and cons about the up-coming election - as is our God given right to have a say in this election. The Veterans who did voice their comments about John Kerry in Unfit to Command, are being slandered by the Liberals, the Press, the Hollywood Elite, some Politicians, and what's really sad by some high ranking General Officers who evidently forgot they are now out of uniform and what they say don't have much of an impact on most of us Veterans, we remember their performance while they were on active duty. The Veteran has earned the right to express his opinion in war and in peace, he defended that right by serving his country.

[Read The Rest]

Given that they're all former military; do you think that attacking them (or their right to speak freely) will deter them?

No way.

Comments (8)

Kevin:I agree 100%. ... (Below threshold)

I agree 100%. But, is it attacking them to question their motives or to challenge the accuracy of their statements. One guy wins and accepts a medal who's citation says he was under enemy fire at the time of the act he recieved the medal for. He then says another guy who won a medal the same night is not entitled to a medal because they were not under fire. This is confusing... And no one can tell me this guy did not read or have his citation sited during the award of the medal. Why would any reasonable person not question that?

I agree it's not attacking ... (Below threshold)

I agree it's not attacking them to point out inconsistencies in the record such as the ones you point out. If you click through and read the letter, I like the way the author put it...

Most don't have a problem with his short tour of duty and his awards for valor, it is all documented by the U.S. Navy, and I don't know of any Veterans who went to war to become heroes or to get medals. Most of us know how the awards are given, some deserved them and some did not. I know of some soldiers who should have been awarded the highest medal for valor, but they were not, they were the only survivor or those that did survive were in stateside hospitals fighting to stay alive. So no one wrote them up, they were to proud to say anything, they just thought they were doing their job as a soldier. John Kerry has to live with how he got his awards and why he left his comrades after his third Purple Heart and never finished his tour.

My belief all along has been that he was a smart guy who worked the system for an early out. Fire or no fire he got his medals and got out.

Well said. And I think you ... (Below threshold)

Well said. And I think you are right on all counts. I have read some interesting articles on Kerry's life, and he seems a bit enigmatic to a degree. One thing is for certain, No one but him Truly knows his motivations... Whether it be the war or who he married.
For me, the SBV's could have made a powerful case just by sticking to the outrage over the congressional testimony issue. Now after reading the whole transcript, I have a better understanding of that issue too. But I can see how Many Vets of that era would be offended at his remarks and his adoption of his service in Vietnam being so central to his campaign. What I dont like is the idea that he may have been telling the truth about ALL of his In Country activities, and that the SBV's are smearing him on that. Which I'm sorry, but it sures appears that way based on the inconsistencies of the arguments. Worst case scenarion in that regard is that he was a hotdog who irressponsibly saught fame, not that he did not earn his medals....
For me it stinks to high heaven, and it is unfortunate that Vietnam vets like the guy in Chicago and Rassman are having their honor questioned.

I'm more than a bit concern... (Below threshold)

I'm more than a bit concerned about the tone here:

"Veterans have earned the right to speak (pro or con) on either candidate."

Is this intended to imply that those of us who haven't served in the military do NOT have the right to speak, pro or con, on either candidate? Wasn't the whole point behind the American Revolution was for ALL citizens to have the right to speak?

Yes, veterans, especially those who have been in combat, have an insight that those of us who served our nation in other ways do not have, but others with other experiences ALSO have insights that not everyone has. We should give the the statements of veterans their due weight, but we should not minimize the voices of others in the process.

Speaking as a Navy retiree,... (Below threshold)

Speaking as a Navy retiree, I agree with your sentiment, Jack. In Kevin's (and David's) defense, though, I don't think anyone was implying that only veterans should have a say in anything; I think the point is that the Kerry campaign is trying to silence veterans...at least, those who disagree with them.

The Kerry/Edwards team have... (Below threshold)

The Kerry/Edwards team have lawsuits against 3 or 4 different veterans groups. They also have injunctions against all major tv channels so they can't play their commercials. THEN Kerry blames Bush for these commercials and IMPLIES he's part of the conspiracy against him, which, of course, is illegal. MoveOn and ACT is going and you don't see Bush trying to shut them down. SO WHO'S THE REAL ASSOLE HERE? KERRY. Having known Kerry and Kennedy's all my life, I can tell you that NEITHER one of them should even be senators never mind running for President.

Sometimes this site scares me with it's own flip flops - not Kevin so much but Jay more often.

can I take last paragraph b... (Below threshold)

can I take last paragraph back?

My late husband was a Capta... (Below threshold)

My late husband was a Captain, US Army, Green Berets, Special Forces, Paratrouper, Ranger and Advisor in Vietnam for 4 years. The years of being an Advisor are not counted, although I do have the paperwork proving he was there. On one occasion he got shot in the knee, recuperated and went back. He ran a camp to train the South Vietnamese to kill. Like in the movie "platoon" his camp was over-run and he got bombed by one of those air bombs. I do not know how he survived it but he did. It was people like John Kerry and what was going on here that made him feel very uncomfortable being back in the civilian atmosphere after that recuperation. I know things went on over there which would happen because when it came down to it, it was either you or them and there was no one to trust. Back then he did not have psychologists or debriefing or repatriation like they do now. They sent him home as he was and as time went on, he got mentally and psychologically nuts. He would not get help because that was "taboo." I was only 20 at the time and scared to death of him. If I knew then the things I learned later, maybe things would have turned out differently for him. With Kerry doing what he's doing, the so-called war hero who can't even compare to my late husband's war hero status and near death injuries, what he said and did when he came back after 4 months of service only made those who did go to Vietnam, died, injured and the walking nut cases only worse. So my late husband had to come back to that kind of environment and what it did to him literally drove him insane. I hate John Kerry and everything he stands for - for good reason. He made the returning soldiers feel like shit and they did not have the support of the people like our troops do now. He hurt all the other soldiers of that day, of that war and the 10 year span of generations lost during that time. It was Kerry and others like him that made "homecoming" extremely hard and very sad. Whether they did anything bad during that time, they did out of fear and adrenaline and like I said, it was either them or yourself and you did what you had to do to stay alive. That war affected hundreds of thousands of men, some who will never be able to live a normal life. His attitude and his bringing it up again only opens already festering sores. These men fought for our country but those who came home, did not get a hero's welcome when they deserved it and needed it and that is not right. Kerry has made a mess of his situation. He hurt a lot of people and he does not deserve our respect or their respect, right or wrong - these men went to war to defend this country as the soldiers of today have gone to Afghanistan and Iraq have gone to defent this country. Kerry's attitude towards all the groups against him, he so rightly deserves because he didn't stop short of telling them they did wrong and that is something you do not tell a soldier. Between the govt and people like Kerry, they made the Vietnam Vets into monsters. That is not always the case; some had it worse than others. Mine had it bad. And after all the time he put in and being near death, the last thing he needed was to listen to people like John Kerry. My husband died as a result of a motorcycle accident in 1978, so you have to understand why I am so much against that man in every way. I don't think he should even be a Senator! When my husband died - he was going on 31 and I was going on 25, I never thought anything else bad could happen to me, but I was wrong but I can attest to the fact that when he died and his soul left his body, touching me and others, it was the first moment of peace he had. Life was so unfair to him at the time and his only escape was dying. I had a 5 year old child at the time. So I hate what Kerry has done and said and I'm sure all the groups, including the swiftboatveterans, the vietnamveteransagaintjohnkerry, the Pow-MIA families against John Kerry have a good reason to hate him; he has brought up extremely painful memories and is such a jerk, walks into the DNC, Salutes and says I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting to duty." was a bit over the top. He went too far and he hurt every veteran alive as well as those who never made it home, a grave disjustice. They have every right to be angry - he has torn them apart and ripped at the core of their being. Some will never lead a normal life and he has the right to put these hundreds of thousands of men down just for doing their duty? NOT!!

I know what my husband went through, I knew how damaged he was and he could not help himself. They trained him to kill but did not debrief him, give him therapy, be repatriated back into society and it was a hell I do not want to ever have in my life again. So I'm a bit testy over the fact he is using the vietnam war as his platform and I cannot blame the swift boat soldier or the pow/mia families or the other vets who did make it home for getting angry. It pisses me off because I've been through it myself.

Whether these veterans feel so strongly against him, they have a right to be. They were there and they probably were there a lot longer than four months. It doesn't matter what happened and it does not matter whether they or he is right or wrong but what is wrong is his saying he was a war hero and using that platform for his campaign. He has hurt all the vietnam vets and he has indeed hurt all veterans then to come out and salute, sayint he's reporting for duty and then doing this with the lawsuits and injunction makes one wonder. The whole point is he has hurt all the veterans from that war and taken the names on the WALL and made them insignificant is what is driving them nuts, true or not. We are a country that pulls together during tradgedy's and he is causing a huge rift among the people, demeaning the deaths and names on THE WALL plus those who did make it home one way or another to a country that hated them for doing their job as soldiers.

He brought that on himself and if the Swift boats or the other veterans groups who actually were there, making them feel that what they did was wrong in every sense of the word. Right or wrong, they all have a damn good reason to fight him. He did not get blown up, he was not shot al, he never took a bullet, he was rarely in any danger and several scratches gave him medals when others deserved them more. On the whole, David, I do not think they are lying; there's so many of them but Kerry has dug his own grave and he should stand tall and apologize to the other members that really did sacrifice during that war. And they have more rights than anyone to put Kerry down. He put them down years ago. That is extremly wrong in every way. I experienced a first hand look at the damage done to our troops then, which I hope won't happen to our boys overseas. Kerry is a hypocrite and I hope he does not get elected for if for some strange reason, I will move out of this country.

I have flags all over my property. I also have two large ones I have yet to put up. I also have a beaten up Gulf War flag. I'm extremely patriotic but I also have a lot of common sense. A curse I think sometimes. But he is not a man who should be president never mind even a senator from MA. So I'm going to still say No, I don't think they were lying because only they know what really went down over there and it certainly was no picknick in the park.

I just wanted to explain my views so you'd know where I was coming from - an experience that no one should ever have to bear. And I do this because of my late husband who cannot speak for himself. Some things are just not right and when Kerry brought up his war record, he made the biggest mistake ever by using that as his central message. Now do you understand why all these groups hate him?

I think it's time to drop this discussion line, although it won't be easy.

But war or no war and we are in a war, we really do need to support our troops, in particular our National Guardsmen and reservists who have been plunked out of society, leaving behind families and friends, losing their homes, sometimes their jobs, and if have a small business, they lose and not enough attention is being given them and they need our support, too. Check out www.walkofhonor.com which dedicates a brick to any past or present veteran and our troops over seas. It is a worthy cause. For if it had not been for our veterans of the past and the soldiers of today, we would no enjoy the freedoms we have today - as long as Al Qaeda stays out of the United States. Hope this helps understand where I am coming from and why.

Thanks for listening.






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