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August 20, 2004

More Kerry Discrepancies?

And the scrutiny of the Kerry website continues.... I wish I had more time to pursue this. Interesting item via JW:

Uneven military service records have proved toxic to John Kerry's campaign for president, prompting him to post his full military record on his Web site (www.johnkerry.com) for critics to peruse. But one sharp-eyed Washington Times reader — a former B-52 pilot and U.S. Air Force colonel — isn't buying Mr. Kerry's pre-emptive strike.
"I looked at that Web site and the first thing I looked at was Kerry's Silver Star citation. Guess what? It is for an action that took place in 1969, but it is signed by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman. Strangely, Lehman was secretary of the Navy from 1981 to 1987," he noted.
"How could Kerry have received a citation from an official that would not be in office for 12 years? This was NOT just a case of providing a new copy of a citation for the office to replace one that was lost (destroyed/thrown over a wall). This effort by Lehman & Kerry actually changed Kerry's official Navy record, sometime in the 80s," he continued.
"What other portions of his record did Kerry have Lehman sanitize or spiffy up? Evidently, Kerry did not think his original Silver Star made him look 'heroic' enough, so he provided 'suggested' words for a new certificate. This certainly calls Kerry's entire Navy record into question."

This is not the only amendment to Kerry's record made after Kerry left active duty or was discharged from the Reserves. A commenter on Beldar Blog notes:

Just take a look at Kerry's campaign website. In it, you see that he filed for and received an amendment to his DD 214 (dept of defense form 214 -- personnel file). The date on it was 2001 (the request/granting of the amendment). The only thing I see is that he wanted his separation date to be 1970 and not 1972. His own website proves that he was in the US Navy Reserves through 1972, wasn't discharged until 1978 from the inactive reserves. This means that his testimony before the Senate in April 1972 was while he was still an officer in the Reserves...
Now why would he request an amendment to his personnel file in 2001. That is a REAL question that needs to be answered.
The original DD 214 – separation date (from active duty) 01 Mar 1970. It further states that his obligation for service to the reserves is until 17 Feb 1972. This one lists his Silver Star/Bronze Star and 3 purple hearts. It also states that he was released from active duty and was transferred to the Naval reserves.
The amended DD 214 (dated Mar 12, 2001 – why then) – gives an amended discharge date of Mar 01, 1970. It also curiously says “delete Vietnam service medal and add Vietnam service medal with 4 bronze stars). Now he was 4 bronze stars?

UPDATE: The amazing JW sends this: why does Kerry's DD-214 show his Silver Star with combat V, when the combat V is not authorized with the Silver Star and the citation makes no mention of a combat V?

This are things I will have to check out, as I am trying to establish what Kerry's Reserve commitment was, whether he was required to drill or was in the inactive Reserves (the date for transfer to Standby Reserves I have is 3/1/72, which implies he was on active Reserves between 1/70 and 3/72. His Winter Soldier testimony was 4/22/71.) and whether his protest actions would have been subject to the UCMJ (I am leaning toward the position that they were not based on my initial research, but have not had time to check this out thoroughly).

WinterSoldier.com has this helpful timeline of Kerry's service and anti-war protest activities which shows that the bulk of his activities took place between early 1970 (just after he was discharged from active duty, but probably while on active Reserve status) and 4/72. The timeline makes interesting reading. Some highlights with additions:

11/69: Kerry requests early release from active duty to run for Congress
1/70: Kerry leaves active duty
5/70: Kerry meets with NVietnamese in Paris.
6/70: Joins Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW)
1/71: Winter Soldier 'investigation' starts
4/71: Kerry Winter Soldier testimony before Senate
5/71: Kerry arrested
8/71: FBI investigation of VVAW starts
11/71: VVAW meeting where assasination of Senators is discussed. Kerry maintains he quit VVAW in the summer of '71, but his account is disputed. Meeting minutes and FBI records show he did not resign until 11/71.
3/1/72: Kerry transfers to inactive Reserve status?
2/1/78: Kerry discharged from Reserve

It does appear possible that his flying Adam Walisky around to protests while on active duty may be questionable, but again this is something I need to check out.

developing...

- Cassandra

August 20, 2004 at 08:34 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Since Kerry likes to have his record rewritten, I will gladly offer my services to write his citations for all of his military and political service. *first*

Posted by: KJ at Aug 20, 2004 10:39:23 AM

Re "'Vietnam service medal with 4 bronze stars'. Now he was 4 bronze stars?":

Not as in "Bronze Star Medal" -- the bronze stars on a Vietnam Service Medal indicate the number of named operations in which he participated.

Re "why does Kerry's DD-214 show his Silver Star with combat V, when the combat V is not authorized with the Silver Star and the citation makes no mention of a combat V?":

The "Combat V" is inherent in a Silver Star (which is a combat medal), so this isn't falsely claiming an unearned combat honor, it's simply redundant. A Bronze Star may be given for valor in combat or for meritorious service, so there a "Combat V" distinguishes the former from the latter.

The odd thing is that other people besides Kerry have actually been awarded a "Silver Star with Combat V".

Example: "Soldier Awarded Silver Star with Valor".

(See also "FrontPage Article with a "D" for Dumb".)

Posted by: Raven at Aug 28, 2004 5:42:59 AM

Wrong. I'm writing something right now about that. The Silver star is NEVER awarded with a combat V. Ever. It's against regulations. I've checked up on this and so have several other people - you can see it in the actual regulations if you look it up. I'll be done with the post fairly soon.

All of the sources you cite say "with valor", not "with combat V". Those are two different things Raven. Also, Kerry's original DD214 doesn't mention a combat V, nor could subsequent research find a single instance of ANYONE ELSE EVER BEING AWARDED A SILVER STAR WITH A COMBAT V, EXCEPT FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD FRAUDULENTLY ALTERED THEIR AWARDS.

Doesn't this make a few alarm bells go off? Kerry is the ONLY person who ever has a combat V on an award, it is AGAINST regs to award a combat V with the Silver Star? It doesn't show up on his original award and he has 2 subsequent citations (why would you have 2 subsequent citations - what was wrong with the original?)

The whole thing is very odd.

Posted by: Cassandra at Aug 28, 2004 6:22:53 AM

Just seems to get curiouser and curiouser....

Keep up the good work !!

Posted by: Chris In Florida at Aug 29, 2004 7:18:28 PM

"nor could subsequent research find a single instance of ANYONE ELSE EVER BEING AWARDED A SILVER STAR WITH A COMBAT V, EXCEPT FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD FRAUDULENTLY ALTERED THEIR AWARDS."

I doubt that H.G. Hodges, a Seabee, could have altered his award, since it was posthumous:

"January 14, 1968: An enemy grenade killed EPNCN H.G. Hodges and wounded EOC3 J.G. Stoko while the two men were serving as a security detail from NMCB Nine at red Beach, Danang, Republic of Vietnam. Subsequently the Silver Star with combat V was given posthumously for Hodges' heroic action of attempting to hurl the grenade from the bunker while shielding the blast with his body to protect Stoko."

Posted by: Raven at Oct 11, 2004 11:21:36 AM

Raven:

1. First, I would want to see the paperwork actually awarding the combat V with the Silver Star, in defiance of regulations.

2. Second, if it was awarded, it was done so against regulations.

3. Third, if you have found a single instance where an administrative error was made and someone was awarded a combat V against regulation after they were dead, that is one thing. His being dead certainly explains why he would not have corrected the error.

It does NOT explain why Senator Kerry, having obtained 3 subsequent amendments to his DD214 (themselves in contravention of Navy regs) did NOT correct the erroneous award.

Can YOU explain this?

The section where it mentions the combat V is quite short - hard to imagine Kerry contintued to overlook it through 3 unauthorized corrections of his DD214.

Posted by: Cassandra at Oct 11, 2004 11:31:16 AM