|John Kerry, ‘war hero’ and sullen youth, following his return
from two months in combat and four months in theater,
Photo: Kerry accuses American policy of “war crimes”
in Viet Nam.
The Acorn and the Tree
(Wikipedia – edited for content) Kerry attended boarding schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and went on to graduate from Yale University class of 1966, where he majored in political science and became a member of the influential Skull and Bones secret society. He was commissioned an officer in the US Naval Reserve in 1966, and during 1968–1969 served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of a PCF, also referred to as a Swift Boat. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.
Kerry’s commanding officer, LCDR George Elliott, joked to Douglas Brinkley in 2003 that he didn’t know whether to court-martial Kerry for beaching the boat without orders or give him a medal for saving the crew. Elliott recommended Kerry for the Silver Star, and Chief of Naval Operations Elmo Zumwalt flew into An Thoi to personally award the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with V device and three Purple Hearts that Kerry managed to receive during sixty days of service on a river boat. Can I call it ‘rigged’ when the Navy Chief of Staff (highest ranking serving officer in the US Navy) flies to Viet Nam to decorate an obscure lieutenant junior grade?*
*As the presidential campaign of 2004 developed, approximately 200 Vietnam veterans formed the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), subsequently renamed Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, which held press conferences, ran ads and endorsed a book questioning Kerry’s service record and his military awards. The group included several members of Kerry’s unit, such as Larry Thurlow, who commanded a swift boat alongside of Kerry’s, and Stephen Gardner, who served on Kerry’s boat.
Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed United States war policy in Vietnam to be the cause of “war crimes.”
(Wikipedia) Heinz and Kerry live an affluent life. They own a six-floor, $7 million townhome in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, a $9 million ocean-front home on Nantucket, a $5 million ski retreat at Sun Valley, Idaho, a $4 million estate in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, near the Heinz family’s home base of Pittsburgh, and a $5 million home in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.