Letter to the Editor

Kerry's war record raises questions

Friday, October 1, 2004

To the editor:

The biting irony of this presidential campaign is that the Democrats' ultra-liberal candidate is running on a war record that until now he found thoroughly shameful -- and which we learn is dubious at best.

The Washington Post, conducting its own investigation, has concluded that John Kerry did not volunteer for combat duty, as he would now have us believe. When he signed up for the Swift boats, the Post reports, they weren't involved in anything dangerous. Then, horror of horrors, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt ordered them into harm's way, and Lt. j.g. John Kerry, who never advanced in grade, began scrambling to find his way home.

Three Purple Hearts got you reassigned. How did Kerry get his? By hook or crook, it would seem. Example: One came when Kerry inadvertently and rather ignominiously shot himself in the butt. A Special Forces officer told the Post he and Kerry were trying to destroy a bin of Viet Cong rice with grenades when Kerry failed to run fast enough and was hit in the fanny with fragments. The same day, another boat hit a mine, and Kerry was rocked against a bulkhead and bruised an arm. Later, he put himself in for a Purple Heart, citing wounds to his arm and buttocks.

Questions about Kerry's four-month tour of duty are even being raised by his biographer, Douglas Brinkley, who recently acknowledged: "Kerry is not the war hero I was led to believe he was."

W.K. ZELLMER, Cape Girardeau