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Just call him Mr. Popularity.
[quote][b]Posted by Guest Blogger at February 7, 2004 11:50 AM
Writes Hal Cranmer:
I would like to add my two cents about my John Kerry experience. During my career as an Air Force pilot, I spent two years flying a small
twin engine prop plane around the Pacific from my base in Okinawa, Japan. On one trip we had to fly Senator Kerry, his congressional aide, and a
Navy Captain (Vietnam, A-4 fighter pilot)who was also in Kerry's party to various locations in Vietnam and Cambodia as part of the MIA/POW talks.
When I met him, he was wearing a shirt with a picture of his sailboat on it. I told him I had a small 27 sailboat in Okinawa, he remarked 'Oh I never sail
on anything less than 135 feet'.
When we first flew him into Phnom Penh, he went to the back of the airplane and grabbed the pizza that was put aside for the crew and passed
it around to his staff. He was never offered any pizza because they were supposed to have lunch with the Cambodian government once we
landed. The pizza would have been our only meal that day. Then when we picked him up in Cambodia, he was an hour late getting to the airport. We
could not start the engines and therefore the air conditioning until he arrived. Phnom Penh at that time was over 100 degrees with 95% humidity and
we were basically sitting in a greenhouse behind the cockpit windows. When he finally did arrive, we were wringing out our clothes from the
perspiration. He walks out of the air conditioned car, into the airplane and asks us 'Could you guys get the air conditioning running, I'm a little warm."
The other pilot had to physically restrain me from going back there and picking a fight.
Then we took him into Noi Bai airfield in Hanoi. After we picked him up the next day (he stayed the night in Vietnam, we stayed in Bangkok)we
taxied out, ran up the engines for takeoff, and noticed that our prop rpm was vibrating all over the place. We taxied off to the side to look at it, but
there was a good possibility that there was an engine malfunction and the engine may fail if we took off with it. Well, Mr. Senator sticks his head up
in the cockpit and says 'This plane WILL take - off, I have a press conference in Bangkok in three hours!"(Maybe this is an indication of how he will
run the FAA). We ran the engines again, and did not have the problem, so we took off and made it back. During the flight, he told everyone how he
had taken a Cessna (a small General aviation plane) up with a fighter pilot, and the fighter pilot remarked that Kerry was one of the best pilots he
had ever seen. I don't know about other pilots out there, but it's hard to imagine a little, single-engine prop plane pilot being able to show the 'right
stuff'. After Kerry left the plane, the Navy Captain came up to us, apologized and said basically that he knows Kerry is a jerk and that we
should be glad we don't have to deal with him every day.
The language is a bit rough for some, but so was the duty---
A Vietnam Vet Against Kerry
Our posts on John Kerry have elicited many grateful and supportive
responses from Vietnam War vets. We have no standing of any kind
to do anything but honor Kerry for his distinguished war service.
I think we differ with Kerry nowadays on the justice of the war,
the honor of the American cause, the respect due the men who served
and the nature of their service. To our knowledge, Kerry has never
apologized for his utterly disgusting defamation of all echelons of
the American military in the war.
This evening we received an interesting message on the subject of
Kerry and the war. The writer has provided identifying information
that allows us to authenticate his own service, although he has
asked us to withhold his name and other identifying information.
Our reader writes:
I've been reading your blog regularly for some months now, and
appreciate it for a number of reasons. I grew up in St. Paul, on
Selby Avenue (early to mid-50's), then West St. Paul. Graduated
from Sibley High School in '63, and went on to the University of
Minnesota ('63-'66). In May '66, I quit the U and enlisted in the
infantry because I wanted to go to Vietnam.
I joined the 9th Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, KS, which had been
newly activated, and which was to train as a unit, then deploy to
Vietnam. I became a rifle squad leader in the 4th battalion, 47th
Infantry, and we deployed to Vietnam in Jan '67. My battalion was
a part of the Mobile Riverine force in the Mekong Delta. We were
the first American units in the Delta, and 1967 was a year of hard
fighting down there. I was very lucky. I finished my 1-year tour
with the 9th Division, then extended my tour and went to the
Tactical Operations Center (TOC) at II Field force HQ, which was a
bit north of Saigon, at Long Binh.
I extended my tour two more times, spending 16 months there in the
TOC, as an Operations NCO. My 3-year enlistment was over in May '69,
and I came home to St. Paul. I had spent 28 months in Vietnam. I had
earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star w/"V" Device w/2
Oak Leaf Clusters, two Air Medals, a Purple Heart (for a very slight
wound), an Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross For
Gallantry (awarded quite liberally by the gov't of SVN). The Mobile
Riverine Force had earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its 1967
I relate all of the above to establish my credentials as a critic of
John F. Kerry (hereinafter referred to as "that Prick"). I know a
little about how the award system worked in Vietnam. If you did
something worthy of an award, it first had to be brought to the
attention of your commander, who would then check with witnesses,
and so on, and decide (in accordance with the governing Army
regulation, AR 672-something) what the action merited.
If everything was confirmed and approved, an officer (normally the
original witness) would write the citation describing the action.
All of this was then forwarded to whatever command level was
required by the AR to approve that particular award. A Silver Star
requires something quite extraordinary in the infantry. I cannot be
sure, but I don't recall ANY Silver Stars awarded in '67 to any
soldier in the MRF, and that's a full year of fighting by 3 entire
Now comes before us that Prick.
That Prick spent a 6-month tour on a small warship off the coast of
Vietnam, which service undoubtedly required him occasionally to miss
a full night's sleep in his air-conditioned cabin. This "tour"
doesn't even count. He spent some time Stateside, no doubt basking
in his "veteran" status among pallid ensigns, then took a deep
breath and returned to Vietnam. This time, he wangled his way onto
a Swift Boat, which from a grunt's point of view is pretty cushy
duty. It is entirely possible that that Prick actually fired a
weapon sometime between Dec '67, and Mar '68, since he has made
references to dead civilians of both sexes and all ages during this
period. During this same period, that Prick received 3 fragment
wounds from RPG's which missed him and his boat. All 3 of these were
band-aid wounds (same as mine).
In Mar '68, a lone VC fired an RPG at that Prick's boat, resulting
in another miss. One of the crewmen answered this with about 50
rounds from a twin-mount 50 cal MG, wounding the VC, who jumped out
of sight. That Prick beached the boat (dumb dumb dumb) where the VC
had been, jumped ashore, found the wounded VC, killed him, and
returned to the boat with the offending RPG launcher. For this
"action," an infantry PFC wouldn't have gotten so much as a pat on
the back, but that Prick ended up with a Silver Star! How could this
have come about? Well, remember...the commander has to recommend the
award. That Prick WAS the commander in this little incident. Do you
think...? Is it possible...? That Prick was in command of 4 or 5
enlisted sailors, and chances are, none of them was much good at
writing up an award recommendation, soooo...
With his Silver Star pinned on his spotless Navy whites, that Prick
immediately requested reassignment under the official (or maybe
unofficial) "three Purple Hearts" rule, which allowed anyone so
grievously damaged to return to the US early. So ended a grueling
stay of almost 4 months of combat heroism.
I have always been proud of my Vietnam service. I spent a total of
14 years as an infantry NCO, served in Germany, and a number of post
here in the US. The young men I was lucky enough to lead and serve
with in 1967 (almost all of them draftees) were GOLD. We who
survived remain close to each other to this day.
Now, everywhere I turn, I see and hear journalists who constantly
refer to that Prick's "chestful of medals," and "heroism in
Vietnam." I am insulted, disgusted, deeply offended by all of this.
I speak for no one but myself, but I expect that there are plenty of
other Vietnam veterans who feel as I do. And I won't even get
started on his shameless behavior with the Vietnam Veterans Against
the War, when he claimed to speak for us, and announced to the world
that we were all cold-blooded war criminals.
From my point of view, John F. Kerry is a charlatan and a whore.
The mere thought that he MIGHT end up in the White House is
appalling, and truly frightening [/b][/quote]