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sidwill Donating Member (975 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 05:27 PM
Original message
Kerry and the medal throwing story
Obviously I am a Clark supporter but I like Kerry, will donate to his campaign if he is the nominee and will support his candidacy at the local level during the campaign.

BUt I would like somebody to enlighten me on the "medal throwing incident" where Kerry threw another soldier's medals on the steps of some government biulding in protest of the Vietnam war.

Can somebody clear up the details of what specifically happenned and tell me if Kerry ever said that the medals were his as put forth by some Repukes.

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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Do you really care?
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. google Kerry medals
Don't provoke another factless flame thread of Vietnam and Kerry. Go get some facts come back and tell us what you believe to be true.
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sidwill Donating Member (975 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. yo
I am trying only to get more info. As I said in my initial post I will support Kerry regardless but I would like to know more about this from my fellow dems who know.

Is this story true?

Is it a potential liability?

This isn't flame bait, its an honest question.
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Check out the Boston Globe, they have always been hostile to Kerry
but I think they usually get the facts straight, at least:

Kerry, who understood well the importance that the media placed on imagery, put an exclamation mark on events by lining up with veterans to return their medals to the military on April 23. Kerry said he suggested that veterans place their medals and ribbons on a table and return them. But he said other members of the antiwar veterans group wanted to throw the medals and ribbons over a fence in front of the Capitol, and Kerry went along with the idea.

Video footage of the scene shows hundreds of veterans angrily gathering in front of the Capitol, near a fenced-in bin with the large sign saying "Trash."

One by one, the veterans, most of whom had long hair and wore combat jackets, threw their medals into the makeshift trash bin.

Some press reports say that Kerry "threw his medals." But Kerry has long maintained he threw his own ribbons but someone else's medals.

In an interview, he said that he had previously met two veterans, one from the Vietnam War and another from World War II, who had asked Kerry to return their medals to the military. Kerry said he stuffed them into his jacket.

He said that when he prepared to throw his ribbons over the fence, he reached into his jacket and pulled out the medals from those two veterans. He said his own medals remained in safekeeping.
http://www.boston.com/globe/nation/packages/kerry/06170...


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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. John Kerry's Service Record

John Kerry volunteered for service in the Navy during the Vietnam War, where he served as skipper of a swift boat that patrolled the Mekong Delta.

Lt. Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Combat V, three Purple Hearts, the Presidential Unit Citation for Extraordinary Heroism, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, three Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medals, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

He is a cofounder of the Vietnam Veterans of America and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In the years since Kerry returned from Vietnam, he has stood up for veterans and the issues of importance to veterans, like mandatory funding for VA healthcare, and concurrent receipt. John Kerry has made it his life's work to remind politicians that the first definition of patriotism is how a grateful nation treats its veterans.

February 10, 1968: John Kerry requests duty in Vietnam. He lists his first preference for a position as an officer in charge of a Swift boat, his second as an officer in a patrol boat river squadron.

June 16, 1968: John Kerry is promoted to lieutenant (junior grade).

November 17, 1968: Kerry reports for duty in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, as the officer in charge of PCF-44. He takes part in Operation Swift Raider, involving incursions into enemy strongholds around inlets and canals along the South Vietnam coast in attempts to sever enemy supply lines and communication, as well as transport troops in reconnaissance missions.

December 2, 1968: John Kerry is wounded in action and is awarded his first Purple Heart.

February 20, 1969: Kerry is wounded in action, and receives his second Purple Heart.

February 28, 1969: Engagement for which Kerry received Silver Star.

March 13, 1969: John Kerry pulls a Green Beret back into his boat under intense fire, and is awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V. In doing so, Kerry is again wounded in action, and received his third Purple Heart Citation.

March 27, 1969: Kerry leaves Vietnam after sustaining three injuries.

April, 11 1969: John Kerry reports for duty at Military Sea Transportation Service, Atlantic. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.

January 1, 1970: Kerry is promoted from Lieutenant (junior grade) to Lieutenant.

July 1, 1972: Kerry is transferred to Standby Reserve.

February 16, 1978: John Kerry is honorably discharged.


http://www.johnkerry.com/communities/veterans/service.h...
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. One More time. I Was there. Not more than 25' from JK.
He threw his RIBBONS and then proceeded to throw medals while saying in a CLEAR and LOUD voice and "these are for some of those who can't be with us today".

You know,I never took his words literally-for 25+ years I always thought that the medal gesture was symbolic of war dead. Rather than a close friend who gave him the medals to toss.


Those 3 days in Washington D.C. in April 1971, changed my life forever. I threw my best friends ribbons,too. He sent them to me....from Saigon.

VETS for VETS in '04 : Lock & Load, Boys!
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I, too, remember that day, GG!
Throwing the ribbons over the White House fence was the biggest publicity stunt that could have been made -- without anyone getting hurt. It made headlines, was on the news broadcasts, and got Kerry invited to testify before the Senate.

By throwing his medals, a genuine war hero made it be known that the Americans who were fighting the war understood it to be a lost cause. The war criminals in the White House kept it going.

Gee. Who today is still benefitting from war? I say it's the same clan who made the bucks out of Vietnam for so long, the same Texas oil, CIA, Mafia, Nazi, anti-commie, Wall Streeter, commie-loving scum Octopus we call the BFEE.

What's nice about the present: Today we have a chance to finally get someone elected who can kick the bastards out of office. His name is John Kerry.

PS: Thanks to you and your colleagues in arms, several of who are in my family. Your service was to help keep our nation free and I will always appreciate that.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. The more I learn about John Kerry, the more I like him
And I was supporting Clark not too long ago!
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Thanks - nothing like a first-hand account!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. We love you guys!
I honestly can't tell you that enough! Thank you, thank you!
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. There are two unconfirmed stories.
The first claims he borrowed somebody else's medals and threw them.

The second claims he threw his "ribbons," but not medals.

Either way, he made this wonderful protest and still has HIS medals hanging on his wall.

Make your own decision, this offends me deeply.
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Read this thread more closely
You have the story almost right but not quite. He threw his ribbons and some medals given to him by two people - a Vietnam vet and a WWII vet. Check out post number four for the Boston Globe version and post number six for an eyewitness account.

Of course it is your right to be offended, but I am not sure exactly why. They staged a successful media event which help raise awareness and opposition to the Vietnam war. That's what they set out to do and that's what they achieved. Does the fact that Kerry still has his medals diminish that accomplishment in your eyes?
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Adjoran Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 01:52 AM
Response to Original message
13. I was there too
but not close enough to hear what he said clearly. I had the impression that he was throwing the medals in memory of the lost, too, but really wasn't sure.

The medals he tossed didn't belong to close friends. Kerry had been around the country promoting the event with VVAW. The medal protest was planned ahead, and the medals he returned were given to him to return by vets at the events.

A lot of people, most I assume were like me and couldn't hear exactly what was being said, just assumed they were his own medals. I did, too, at the time. But it just isn't a big deal. He was leading the protest, everyone knew where he stood. Mountains and molehills . . .
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Man I love you guys
Edited on Fri Feb-06-04 08:22 AM by bigtree
I really don't know what makes folks keep pushing this thing. I think it's probably because the history got pulled apart by a campaign of mis-information by people and groups with something to gain from their muckraking or maybe just support for their cause or beef.

I just enjoy the daylight that comes with the first hand accounts. You can hear the truth. It always comes through and hits like lead. the truth is guiless and unassuming. Power to the people.

Power to the people!
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Finally, Some "Back-Up" I was beginning to think Everyone there
Edited on Fri Feb-06-04 08:46 AM by GalleryGod
was now Dead or Deaf & Dumb!
You are cor-rect on the "Grand Tour" collection of Medals...Kerry had come to the University of Penna. on the Philly stop of the tour.


"How Do We Ask an ARMY RESERVIST to be the LAST Man to Die in IRAQ" :mad:
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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
15. Garbage
he allowed the illusion to stand that they were his own medals thrown over the fence, when years later, presumably counting on everyone forgetting, someone noticed they had suddenly appeared on his wall--when he saw them as a political advantage.

In the same way he allowed that he was Irish to appeal to the Boston Irish vote.
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