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Navy Challenging Kerry's Medals

by Edward ODaniel / September 2, 2004 8:38 AM PDT

The United States Navy is challenging the authenticity of Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War medals, in a development that could prove to be the most damaging yet to the embattled Democrat's presidential campaign.

A Navy spokesman is calling Kerry's Silver Star citation with Combat V "incorrect" as it appears on his campaign Web site, explaining in an interview with Chicago Sun-Times reporter Thomas Lipscomb that the Navy has never issued a Combat V at any time for the Silver Star.

Adding the phrase to their citations was a favorite tactic of a few who had actually received medals but thought they didn't seem "heroic enough". Generally maked the Service that issued the medal recind it for fraud.

The Navy also is questioning the listing on Kerry?s Web site of four bronze campaign stars for his service in Vietnam. The official naval record credits Kerry with just two Vietnam campaigns.

"That is sufficient for the wearing of the Vietnam Service Medal for one campaign bearing one campaign star for the additional campaign ? not four," reports Lipscomb in today's New York Sun.

Since it shows up on his 215 it indicated that he REQUESTED the change himself.

For those who do not like newsmax try this link:

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Re: Navy Challenging Kerry's Medals -- No politics THERE!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 2, 2004 12:47 PM PDT

Hi, Ed.

If ever there was solid proof that Bush is subverting what are supposed to be the non-political portions of the government to his own ends, this is it -- sort of like the IRS suddenly investigating Planned Parenthood. Shades of Richard Nixon and his enemies' list!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Navy Challenging Kerry's Medals -- No politics THERE!
by dirtyrich / September 2, 2004 1:12 PM PDT

Lets see...who'd fibbing? The Navy, and organization steeped in tradition and honor, or a man who boasts of his exploits in the Navy yet is unwilling to release his service record (except for a few pages) to confirm his boasts. If the Navy is wrong in this, then he has every reason to release his record to the press to prove his truthfulness. Will he?

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Great response! If someone in the deep crevices of
by Kiddpeat / September 2, 2004 3:01 PM PDT

some record or reserve unit has some 'dirt' on Bush, you jump on with both feet. However, if a government organization suggests Kerry deceipt, it's a vast Bush conspiracy! Right!

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Re: Great response! If someone in the deep crevices of
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 3, 2004 8:17 AM PDT

Hi, KP.

Records are old, hopefully unaltered, and apolitical. The decision to challenge clearly came from the SecNav, a civilian political appointee of the man Kerry is running against. There couldn't be a more blatant example of politicising the military, and I'd say the same if Bush, Cheney, or Rove had won a medal and it was being challenged by Clinton's SecNav. (Bt that would clearly be impossible, since Cheney and Rove both ducked service).

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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(NT) (NT) Which yrs were the ones where you ducked service, Dave?
by Cindi Haynes / September 3, 2004 10:16 AM PDT
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Re: (NT) Which yrs were the ones where you ducked service, D

Hi, Cindi.

I did have a 2-S for a couple of years, but my penicillin and sulfa allergies made me 1-Y once the 2-S was abolished (they'd only take a 1-Y after all the 1-As were taken). And when the lottery came, my number was in the high 200's someplace... But the main point is, I didn't believe in the war. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Quayle et al. did -- that surely should have some impact on judging one's actions, though of course they'd argue not.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Records are records...
by Edward ODaniel / September 4, 2004 1:08 AM PDT

and the FACT that Kerry has several versions of some on his own site indicate that some alteration has gone on. One of his Bronze Star citations was signed by the man who became the Secretary of the Navy in the '80s--LONG AFTER the other two were written. The addition of the "combat V" also indicates but does not prove alteration.

The Secretary of the Navy has responsibilities that he MUST follow when any formal complaint is lodged. (Just as your own "chain of command" would have to investigate if a student filed a formal complaint against you for some reason.) I have even offered to make the SECNAVINST 1650.1G available for those who can't find it themselves to verify limitations and requirements of awards which also indicates that regardless of who is in office the Secretary of the Navy has a RESPONSIBILITY to act.

I have linked to it before but you always avoid following links so you can continue baseless attacks and claim ignorance of the facts later. Doesn't work though as the failure to take advantage of following the links speaks volumes.

This formal complaint and request for investigation, determination and final disposition is consistent with and satisfies the reporting requirements of Paragraph 116.3 of SECNAVINST 1650.1G. It is also in accordance with specific reporting guidelines and subject matters enumerated on the Department of Defense Inspector General Internet site and the Naval Inspector General?s Internet site. Therefore, we urge you to take action based on this complaint and investigate these allegations concerning Senator Kerry immediately.

I know that if you happen to follow the link this time you will cry loudly about this all being based on the Swift Boat Vets but it would behoove you to note that it indicates "publicly available records" and many of those are publicly available on Kerry's own site (such as when he ceased to hold a naval commission).

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Sorry, Dave...
by J. Vega / September 2, 2004 8:57 PM PDT

Sorry, Dave, but all services (and the government in general) have always taken a "dim view" of someone wearing or claiming medals to which they are not intitled. Surely you remember that 60 Minutes story a couple of years ago about just that that even went into where some people buy those medals.
Dave, your tired old tactic of throwing out the name of Nixon, McCarthy, Polk, or whatever is not going to deflect the attention from Kerry's problem. Surely you don't think that most people won't see thru that tactic. Dave most people are not as easy to mislead as you think.

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Judicial Watch will now be relegated back to 'right wing' ..
by Evie / September 3, 2004 2:19 AM PDT

... I suppose Sad

They are the ones that initiated the probe. Of course when they acted to get the Cheney Energy meetings opened up they were a non-partisan group Wink

Evie Happy

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No, it is only solid proof that you do not read links...
by Edward ODaniel / September 3, 2004 8:04 AM PDT

and the info contained in them.

As is indicatged in both links, this is a result of newspaper writers interviewing naval personnel and these interviews are in turn a likely result of the FORMAL request by Judicial Watch.

Care to tell us how exactly you determined this to be connected in any way to Bush, or do you just have a foot fetish?

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Re: No, it is only solid proof that you do not read links...
by Roger NC / September 3, 2004 9:44 AM PDT

Actually just the appearance of political impropriety such as those opposed to Bush will surely see makes me wish this had been delayed in truth.

Of course, if after he was elected it started, it would still appear to be politics, no matter what proof either way surfaced. And if after he was elected he had been found guilty of anything, then you have a huge problem of what to do then.

I just actually hate to see it come up now because it's going to appear to be politics pure and simple, no matter how much it is or how little it is.


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Oh what a tangled web we weave, when...
by Kiddpeat / September 2, 2004 2:58 PM PDT

Particularly when you've made a big thing about checking all the records of your opponent. Guess he couldn't resist, and thought no one would ever notice.

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Who should really care...........
by Del McMullen / September 2, 2004 5:01 PM PDT

....about the ribbons or medals. Ribbons and medals are
but symbols. The only conscience that any of this
should bother is the wearer.

It was the activity he engaged himself in after he left
active duty that was dishonorable.

The fact that he was yet a commissioned officer in the
reserve, some of it may have been illegal, and I think a
legal investigation has recently been requested.

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by Del McMullen / September 2, 2004 5:13 PM PDT
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Re: PS......
by cph / September 4, 2004 8:02 AM PDT
In reply to: PS......

It's hard not feel some glee at the opportunistic Kerry's discomfort at these examinations of his 'heroism', which like every thing else about him has value only to the extent that he can use it. I was in Vietnam the same time as Kerry - 1967 to 68 -but the only atrocities I saw were the handiwork of the Viet Cong. On the other hand, Kerry at least was there, and he earned the right to voice his dissent when he came back. Unlike people like Bush, who hid in the national guard instead of serving. Bush has the right to criticize Kerry also but that right was earned for him by people like Kerry and his father, Bush Sr. What a crappy choice this November.

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The good thing about America
by Dragon / September 4, 2004 12:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: PS......

You dont have to earn the right to say anything. Happy

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Re: The good thing about America
by cph / September 5, 2004 2:44 PM PDT

Nothing is free. Soemone, somewhere paid for it.

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I wonder...
by Angeline Booher / September 4, 2004 9:01 AM PDT

.... if the Navy is going to review all medal awards made to officers and seamen during their Vietnam service.

Seems their protocol for awarding them is open to question. Sure makes one be suspicious that there are a bunch out there that were not deserved.

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Cold hard fact is that...
by Edward ODaniel / September 5, 2004 3:52 AM PDT
In reply to: I wonder...

there are indeed medals awarded that are not deserved and deserved medals that are written up for exagerated situations to ensure they are awarded and not downgraded.

There is not necessity to investigate other medals because the investigations are made as a result of specific REQUESTS to investigate specific awards for specific reasons.

One cannot request that ALL Bronze Stars or ALL Silver Stars be investigated unless one has evidence that there is a potential problem. General impressions are not evidence while specific discrepancies are.

Kerry's "bleeding and painful arm" from shrapnel in his *** is a discrepancy--especially when, in his Bio, he has informed the authors that earlier in the day he had got a piece of shrapnel from a grenade he threw into a rice bin.

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Re: Cold hard fact is that...
by Angeline Booher / September 5, 2004 4:18 AM PDT

Surely, then, appointing a Special Prosecutor would be in order. As it has been so upsetting to so many people, it would be worth the financial outlay to hang him out to dry.

IMO, a senate committee investigation would not be as effective, as there could be other senators who "fudged" on their medals.

With the Special Prosecutor, the officers who OKd his and those of others without merit would be exposed and share the guilt.

Let's hope great care is exercised in Iraq to not hand out any that are not deserved. There might be a volunteer warrior among them who would run for public office in years to come.

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re: Cold hard fact is that...
by Diane Harrison / September 5, 2004 4:30 AM PDT

"Let's hope great care is exercised in Iraq to not hand out any that are not deserved. There might be a volunteer warrior among them who would run for public office in years to come."

The difference is, Angeline, that Kerry REQUESTED his medals and did his best to get them. His claim that he debated for two weeks over whether to accept the third purple heart is shot down by the fact that his REQUEST for it was filed in Washington three days after the alleged incident.

You've already heard from plenty of folks here and in other sites linked to, who have turned down an award they felt was not deserved, was overblown, or would have caused them to shirk duty (like leaving after three months of service and one in training in Kerry's case). So, it's not receipt of the award that really matters, as much as the person's lies about who supposed gave it to them, what it was for, and at whose request it was awarded.

I would have just as much trouble with ANY future candidate should they grossly fudge their statistics in this manner and then refuse to show the actual facts when it is within their power to dispel all doubt.

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Anyone remember?
by Evie / September 5, 2004 4:46 AM PDT

There was a fairly prominent case fairly recently of someone wearing a medal they hadn't earned. Don't recall who or the details.

This seems to be a very similar case. Apparently it is the "Combat V" distinction in question.

Evie Happy

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by Evie / September 5, 2004 4:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Anyone remember?

This is the DD214 from Kerry's website that is in question: Kerry's DD214 {.PDF file}

Hmmm.... it lists some medals and ribbons. I thought "back then" those were "absolutely interchangeable" so why are they referred to differently Devil

Evie Happy

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Re: P.S.
by Angeline Booher / September 5, 2004 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: P.S.

Seems I recall the story above, too, Evie.

All I know about medals and ribbons is those awarded to AF officers, like my daughter. As I understand it, a ribbon designating the medal is given at the same time. I THINK that the ribbon is always worn - on the left chest. Then there are the "campaign" ribbons" that identify, say, the Gulf War.

I don't know about the "dress" occasions, but the photos I have seen of her in full dress at big occasions show her only wearing the ribbons. Of course, Patton wore them both at times, so maybe it is optional. Happy

(I still have some of Joe's WWII Army ribbons, but I didn't find any medals.) Happy

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Without going into too much detail
by Brian S. / September 5, 2004 6:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: P.S.

-all military medals have an associated ribbon

-not all military ribbons have associated medals

-military medals are only worn with military dress/formal uniforms and only during certain "special" occasions.

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by Brian S. / September 5, 2004 6:54 AM PDT
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Is there any site where
by TONI H / September 5, 2004 7:00 AM PDT
In reply to: PS

you can actually get a copy of a DD214 in order to apply for replacement ribbons/medals? When my first husband left the Navy in 1971, he tossed them all during a move we made. Since we have three daughters from that marriage, and he's deceased, I would like to replace those ribbons/medals to put into a showcase for the girls (women now) if possible but don't know how to go about doing this.

When he passed away, the flag draping his coffin was given to his mother, and it has been kept by his side of the family all these years with no hope of ever getting it back now. Can that flag also be replaced?


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Good questions
by Brian S. / September 5, 2004 7:18 AM PDT

Let me do some digging for info.

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Here is a place to start
by Brian S. / September 5, 2004 7:22 AM PDT
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Couple more links
by Brian S. / September 5, 2004 7:28 AM PDT
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