To the editor:
If, as W.K. Zellmer suggested in his recent letter to the editor, John Kerry "put himself in for a Purple Heart" for "inadvertently and rather ignominiously" shooting "himself in the butt" in an effort to evade further combat duty because "three Purple Hearts got you reassigned," then I'm confused as to why I should support John Kerry, our troops or our political process. Is that how Purple Hearts are dispensed? You just put yourself in for a medal and are given one (or three) with no military oversight or attempt to standardize criteria? That would make all the Purple Hearts pretty much meaningless, wouldn't it? I find that a little difficult to buy into. Until I find out for myself that this is the case, I need to believe there's a bit more to it than that. Zellmer will just have to indulge me.
DARYL VENABLE, Greenwood, Ind.