Sunday, September 23, 2007

John Kerry's VVAW Wants Cemetery Celebration at Vietnam Memorial; Kerry Should Have His Own Parade

Veterans across the country are bristling over an e-mail sent out by Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, described in the media as the only true hero of the Vietnam War, seeking veterans to join him and the Vietnam Veterans of America in a parade November 10, celebrating the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial.

It occurred to me that holding a parade on the Marine Corps birthday that is 'celebrating' anything other than the Marines, certainly could be seen as a slap in the face to the Corps which is very busy that day with birthday ceremonies.

We also must question just who celebrates a tombstone? The Vietnam memorial is a black granite tombstone bearing the names of more than 58,000 men and women who died fighting the communists in Vietnam. Don't take me wrong here, I have visited the Memorial many times to remember the dozens of friends, most from my unit in Vietnam, whose names are inscribed there.

But the only 'celebration' I remember in the past 25 years was actually a 'dedication' of the memorial when it was opened to the public. I also was there two years later, each time as a journalist, when the statue of the Three Servicemen was unveiled nearby.

But the statue was and still is seen as throwing a crumb to the many veterans who don't believe The Wall is an appropriate monument to those who successfully defeated the communist armies in Vietnam only to have their service sullied by communists in the American State Department and Congress.

All across the Northeast there are cemeteries where my family members and friends are buried. I go to them occasionally to ensure that the graves are well tended, and to take a moment to remember their lives. But I have never been to a parade that celebrates a cemetery or a tombstone, so the concept of holding one for the Vietnam Memorial seems a bit over the top to me.

This feeling is even more pronounced when I think that the Memorial, which was so divisive to the Vietnam veteran community when it was first proposed, has recently been defaced by anarchists opposing our successful military efforts in Iraq. Perhaps getting some VVAW folks to help clean up the mess would be more appropriate than sponsoring a parade.

But back to Kerry. Regular readers of this column know that at times I have been somewhat probing and incisive in my commentary, questioning his medals, his 'wounds' and his vicious attacks on Vietnam veterans when he was a founder of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, VVAW. Then there are the attacks on the military in general, and the dismissal of millions of civilian deaths in Southeast Asia at the hands of rampaging communists after allied troops were pulled out as insignificant.

As you might expect, I have received quite a bit of email from those posts claiming that not only am I wrong, but Kerry's peers from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are wrong too, and that Kerry really is the only living, true hero of the Vietnam War.

So, even though this is a column, and more to the point MY column, and I don't have to publish anyone's point of view but my own, I have decided that since I am a journalist who prides himself on thoroughness and objectivity, I will share some of the other opinions with you.

First on the Silver Star medal Kerry wears. His citation says his Swift Boat was involved in a supporting operation, and that he spied a fleeing Viet Cong on the shore about 10 feet from his boat. Some people say the boat's bow gunner had unleashed a burst of fire from his machine guns at the enemy combatant, but that the VC was not immediately killed.

So Kerry beached his boat, leaped ashore, pursued the wounded Viet Cong behind a thatched dwelling and shot him dead.

I have said that it appears that if there really was a firefight at the time, Kerry left his post while under fire, an action that should have resulted in a court martial. Or, conversely, if there was no shooting at the time, the conditions for a medal were not met. Reports from the scene also have indicated that two infantry units had already swept the area of nearly all enemy and that the lone wounded VC was youthful and inexperienced.

But I have been assured by his close associates that Kerry did indeed do the unthinkable that day, wresting a machine gun from the hands of a lower ranked, enlisted crewman who was frozen into inaction, and with the machine gun in one hand, a .45 caliber pistol in the other, and a K-Bar fighting knife in his teeth, stormed ashore like a one-man assault battalion! There the marauding Viet Cong melted before his onslaught like rancid butter before a hot knife, needing only to see the steely look in his eyes and the stone cold expression on his face to realize they had met their match.

Then there is the disputed Bronze Star where Kerry plucked a hapless Army soldier from the water after he had fallen off a Swift Boat during a high speed maneuver. Many said Kerry wasn't under fire and his actions were routine, but Kerry's supporters say otherwise.

They say the riverbeds were virtual anthills of concealed enemy positions and that firing did occur, during which the accompanying Swift Boats all fled to safer positions while only Kerry stayed to fight. (I have to admit that there was somewhat of a flap when Kerry later said he "came back" to a position from which he previously said he never left, but obviously it was simply a misstatement due to the heat of combat, er, Senate debate.)

The word from his supporters is that Kerry's Swift Boat ran a gantlet of fire from both banks, more than a mile on each side, a deadly encounter for anyone else, but one that left not so much as a mark on Kerry's boat. Again, his hapless and dysfunctional crew did little to nothing, while the steely eyed Kerry directed accurate and deadly return fire into the impenetrable jungles, again vanquishing the Viet Cong.

It has even been whispered that the reason no rounds struck Kerry's boat is because he stared down the Viet Cong (much like Davy Crockett staring down a bear in days of old) striking such fear into their hearts that their aim went awry and their rounds whistled harmlessly overhead - until they struck the civilians in nearby villes.

And the Purple Hearts, we can't forget the three Purple Hearts that guaranteed Kerry's early exit from the war zone only four months into his tour. This in turn set the stage for the onset of his political career and his one-man missions to Paris to meet with communists. Here Kerry took huge risks since he was still in the Navy, but preferred to be labelled another Benedict Arnold than to allow Henry Kissinger to continue bumbling through the peace process alone.

But the Hearts, we should talk about the Purple Hearts! Some say Kerry got one for being hit in the duff by a grain of rice after he threw a grenade into a vat of the just harvested crop from a Vietnamese farmer's rice paddy. But Kerry's supporters say it should be noted that those critics can't even say with any certainty whether it was white rice or long grain brown, so how can they be trusted?

And the sliver in the finger thing, that wasn't looked into until he had been medevaced far out into the South China Sea to a safe haven. Well, let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, that was no sliver, no sir, not according to Kerry's backers.

He was bleeding, profusely according to his supporters, from multiple wounds that he refused to have treated until all of the dysfunctional enlisted members of his crew had been seen to, including counseling for early onset PTSD.

No, the way they tell it, Kerry applied the tourniquets himself, and tended his own wounds, refusing to let anyone else touch them or even look at them until he reached a proper medical facility.

In fact, based on the commentaries I have received from Kerry's political supporters, if he hadn't been so stoic, so heroic, so manly, and so much the epitome of the quintessential Naval officer, he would have stayed in Vietnam for a full tour of duty like the other Swift Boat commanders, and having done so, likely would have won the war single handedly.

Even though the majority of Kerry's supporters weren't actually there with him, they are totally sympathetic to his dysfunctional enlisted crew, despite its many shortcomings, especially exposing Kerry to danger over, and over, and over, and over again.

In fact his supporters say that Kerry's devastating testimony before Congress as a founding member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, VVAW, in which he labelled his fellow veterans as baby killers and murderers, was due entirely to his overpowering disappointment at not being allowed to return and take the fight to the NVA. Regular communist troops had by then replaced the Viet Cong, mostly all of whom had been killed, the vast majority by Kerry, single-handedly.

Actually, when you consider the number of enemy killed by John F. Kerry we can even understand that he thinks millions of civilian deaths do not constitute a bloodbath as he has said so often and so recently. Compared to the numbers he has killed, a few million is obviously just a drop in the bucket.

So as I think about Kerry's unheralded heroism, and his stoic refusal to give in to critics who say his war record is straight out of a comic book, I have decided that we should put aside the call from VVA to hold a parade, as their news release states "celebrating and commemorating the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ... .

"The festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. with star-studded Opening Ceremonies at the parade's starting point on the Mall ... "

John F. Kerry sending out emails on his Senate letterhead is not to be misinterpreted my friends, he is just once again displaying his selflessness by asking people to send money to his old friends at VVA so they can continue his work, er, their work. And he is selflessly asking everyone to join their parade.

The appropriateness of celebrating a tombstone aside, I think it is time we honor John F. Kerry, a unique and solitary figure among America's war heroes. I don't think we should have a parade honoring a tombstone, I think we should have a parade honoring John F. Kerry.

And I don't think his parade should be cluttered up with a bunch of bands and fire trucks and cops and sirens and stuff like that. I think it should be a one-man parade, and that one man should be John F. Kerry.

He can get around the bands issue by carrying a boom box playing John Phillip Sousa music, perhaps mixed with some inspiring anti-capitalism ditties from the Communist Party Workers Chorale so the guys at the VVAW won't feel slighted.

Yes, by Jove, that is it! A one-man boom-box parade starring John F. Kerry right down Constitution Avenue. And anyone from the VVAW who happens to be in the area can run out to the sidewalk as he passes by, wave a flag of their choice and give him the clap.

Two-handed clap would be the preferred method.

Yes, I am certain, that is exactly the type of reception that John F. Kerry should get for his years of speaking about veterans, and it is exactly what he deserves.


Anonymous said...

See Kerry letter below.

If Vietnam Veterans of America condone Senator Kerry, a confirmed hater of Vietnam Veterans as a spokesman for their organization in support of the Vietnam Memorial 25th Anniversary Celebration, VVA is, at best, dishonoring our fallen Vietnam warriors.

Here is an email to a VVA Chapter President who asked about the Kerry letter below, from a VVA Regional Director:


I was at the NY State Council meeting this weekend and John Rowan was also there so I asked him about this. John explained to me that when VVA held the Congressional Reception in April of this year, they approached Senators Kerry and Nagel to ask their support for the parade. The idea being that they would both endorse the parade and send an email to their contacts asking for support. The email you forwarded to me is the result of that request.


The above email from Fred Elliot confirms Vietnam Veterans of America have sold their soul to Senator John Kerry...this soils, taints, and damages the honor of the Viet Nam Memorial Celebration in the same manner some vandal physically desecrated the Vietnam Memorial Wall earlier this month.

I call for Vietnam Veterans of America to retract their request to Senator Kerry and make it clear he is not involved with the November 10, 2007 25th Anniversary Celebration; VVA to apologize for inviting Senator Kerry to assist in the Vietnam Memorial 25th Anniversary Celebration on behalf of Vietnam Veterans of America; and request Senator Kerry remove the letter or any other support of any kind from any and all Kerry public outlets.

Senator Kerry has disgraced himself and is a traitor right along side Jane Fonda, John Murtha, Chuck Hagel and others.........I have pondered what the over 58,000 brothers and sisters represented by the Vietnam Memorial would want me to do? I hear them saying, "we want you there with back turned toward Kerry if he participates"; I also hear them saying "the thought of Kerry participating is so offensive we would rather the event be canceled"; I also hear them saying "it is repulsive, wrong, and a betrayal to associate the name of kerry and anything related him, with our Vietnam Heroes"; I also hear them saying "we have already turned our back toward Senator Kerry, forever".

It is too early to expect a program from VVA identifying speakers, etc. for the 25th Anniversary of the Viet Nam Memorial Wall......but not too early to let VVA know our objection to John "call them baby killers" Kerry implied participation, and notify VVA that Kerry is a despicable coward and rejected as vermin. Call and email them now:

National VVA - 1-301-585-4000 Phone
John Rowan - National President
Jack Devine - National Vice President

and, if by some strange brainless chance, a decision is made to include Kerry in the Anniversary program, those participating should have tomatoes, preferably rotten, in their possession and when he approaches the podium, as a method of free speech, let him have the tomatoes...then boo him until he departs...... and turn our backs on him as he goes.

Kerry is a traitor and it would be a disgrace for us to allow him to use the Anniversary of the Viet Nam Memorial Wall of heroes, who he hates, lied about, and betrayed, as a political tool for his personal re-election purposes.

We would be betraying our brothers and sisters if we don't actively take measures to stop any VVA idea that Kerry will be allowed to participate in anything related to Viet Nam Fallen Remembrance.

Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret - Where there is no offense, there is no effect.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Dear V.,

I am sending you this e-mail on behalf of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).

When we came home from Vietnam, we found that the government which sent us to war wasn't there to take care of those who had borne the burden of battle - it was only because of vets fighting for their fellow vets that we won government attention to medical problems, readjustment problems, employment difficulties, and even the GI Bill educational benefits that were earned by virtue of our service in uniform.

Several of the people with whom I worked to help our fellow vets would go on to create Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), and asked me to serve as its first Vice President, which I did until I had to step down when I entered public life. I am proud to still be a Life Member.

Although VVA was founded as a vehicle to advocate for the veterans of the Vietnam War, it has grown to embrace the interests of all veterans. I hope you join in the determination that I share with VVA that the current group of returning warriors receive the kind of welcome, and level of services that our generation also deserved - but had to fight for. In accord with VVA's founding principle: "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another," I ask you to join with me to support the struggle for more and better health care services, more effective employment assistance, a properly funded GI Bill for education, and other earned veterans' benefits for our brother and sister veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, as then, VVA is still fighting battles for veterans and their families. Whether by improving veteran's health care, veterans' disability and compensation benefits, job training, veterans' entrepreneurship issues, testifying on the Hill on legislative issues of importance to veterans and their families, VVA makes its presence known by its strong advocacy for veterans - and especially the newly minted veterans who are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. VVA was formed to "Speak truth to power."

They are still at it - still fighting - will you help them?

One of the important items on VVA's agenda today is outreach to veterans of all generations, especially the 80 percent of veterans who neither receive disability payment from the VA nor go to the VA for their health care. Many of these veterans simply are unaware of the benefits they have earned by virtue of their military service.

So I am writing to ask that you support VVA by giving generously to Vietnam Veterans of America to provide them with the backing they need to advocate effectively for veterans. Checks should be made out to Vietnam Veterans of America and mailed to VVA, 8605 Cameron Street, Suite 400, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Send it to the attention of Carl Tuvin.

Thanking you in advance.


John F. Kerry

P.S. Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is staging a Parade on Saturday November 10 in Washington DC, in cooperation with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. This will be the largest gathering of our brothers and sisters since the Parade celebrating the dedication of the Wall in November of 1982. VVA is asking all veterans to come to Washington and support this event. The parade will begin with opening ceremonies at 10: AM, and will commence marching at 11:00 AM and end at 4:00 PM. After the parade there will be entertainment on the Mall with areas for reunions with your friends who served in Vietnam. Learn more about this event at

You can also reserve an advance copy of the extraordinary commemorative program book that VVA is doing with Boston Publishing, Inc. by puchasing one or more copies by means of the order form, also to be found at

John Kerry For Senate
129 Portland Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114-2014

Paid For By John Kerry For Senate

You are subscribed to this newsletter as --------. Please click here to modify your message preferences or to unsubscribe from any future mailings. We will respect all unsubscribe requests.

Post a Comment


hypoctite sm

Granny Snatching


Signed author copies


NEW! e-Book Available on Amazon

Masters of the Art

Masters final cover
Personalize inscription


NEW! e-Book Available on Amazon and Barns & Noble

Blog Archive





Popular Posts