T Nation

Bush's Viet Nam Medals Uncovered


It turns out that Bush has a few medals of his own. No wonder the GOP is so anxious to compare Viet Nam service records between John Kerry and George Bush...

Golden Tapper- awarded for consistently Perfect Pour

Silver Keg- exceptional consumption

However a few of Bush's fellow Champaign Unit Guardsmen are complaining that Bush's Golden Tapper was not deserved, and they say Bush's pouring skills were "not all that great".


Oops, I forgot to add that President Dick Cheney was awarded three prestigious Deferrment Awards. At least one paper cut resulted.

Compare that to the gold-bricking that Kerry did!


LOL Lumpy, good one!

Amazing how pathetic conservatives are when it comes to discrediting others.

Spitting on other's service records, while the entire Bush administration dodged the draft.


Oops! You forgot to post a comparison of their respective voting records in regard to national defense. No wonder the democrats are so keen to discuss Vietnam all of the sudden instead of talking about Kerry's voting and leadership record.


They actually made a movie about Cheney's Veitnam service.

Full Dinner Jacket.



It doesn't make sense to me. Kerry can criticize Bush's record because he was "privledged." Kerry is Boston Brahmin! His middle name? Forbes. He was as privledged as W was. Simple as that, so why the disparaging of Bush's record and not Kerry's? I won't say it. I'll just put Lumpy's foot in his mouth. Man, you make it really easy for us "crooks on the right."

May 04, 2004, 4:26 p.m.
Kerry Purple Heart Doc Speaks Out
The medical description of his first wound.

By Byron York

Some critics of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry have questioned the circumstances surrounding the first of three Purple Hearts Kerry won in Vietnam. Those critics, among them some of Kerry's fellow veterans, have suggested that a wound suffered by Kerry in December 1968 may have made him technically eligible for a Purple Heart but was not severe enough to warrant serious consideration, even for a decoration that was handed out by the thousands. Whatever the case, Kerry was awarded the Purple Heart, and, along with two others he won later, it allowed him to request to leave Vietnam before his tour of duty was finished.

Kerry was treated for the wound at a medical facility in Cam Ranh Bay. The doctor who treated Kerry, Louis Letson, is today a retired general practitioner in Alabama. Letson says he remembers his brief encounter with Kerry 35 years ago because "some of his crewmen related that Lt. Kerry had told them that he would be the next JFK from Massachusetts." Letson says that last year, as the Democratic campaign began to heat up, he told friends that he remembered treating one of the candidates many years ago. In response to their questions, Letson says, he wrote down his recollections of the time. (Letson says he has had no contacts with anyone from the Bush campaign or the Republican party.) What follows is Letson's memory, as he wrote it.

I have a very clear memory of an incident which occurred while I was the Medical Officer at Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay.
John Kerry was a (jg), the OinC or skipper of a Swift boat, newly arrived in Vietnam. On the night of December 2, he was on patrol north of Cam Ranh, up near Nha Trang area. The next day he came to sick bay, the medical facility, for treatment of a wound that had occurred that night.

The story he told was different from what his crewmen had to say about that night. According to Kerry, they had been engaged in a fire fight, receiving small arms fire from on shore. He said that his injury resulted from this enemy action.

Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

That seemed to fit the injury which I treated.

What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry's arm. The metal fragment measured about 1 cm. in length and was about 2 or 3 mm in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle.

I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than 3 or 4 mm. It did not require probing to find it, did not require any anesthesia to remove it, and did not require any sutures to close the wound.

The wound was covered with a bandaid.

Not [sic] other injuries were reported and I do not recall that there was any reported damage to the boat.


Oops! I guess your voting record might be longer if you've been voting on the issues for the last thirty years. Lets see what was Bush doing ten years ago leaving a career as a subpar oilmen to run a baseball team with Daddy's money!


Ha Ha Classic, would be funny if it wasn't so tragic


Its funny how a doctor who must be in his seventy's by now, and who must have treated hundreds of injurys a week in Vietnam suddenly has crystal like clarity on an incident that happened 35 years ago.

Oh, but thats right he has no ties to the right! How much you wanna bet he's a died in the wool republican!

A person would have to be pretty desperate to risk his life firing a mortar into the rocks close enough to only wound himself not kill himself.

Oh, again I forgot at this time Bush was flying the worlds most dangerous aircraft on dangerous missions to Florida!


Tiz, there are a lot of write ups. If you read more than the extremely retarded biased ones you'll realize he, Kerry, put his life on the line and did some heroic things. Get a clue.

Whether you are right or left you should have more respect for your veterans than that!


Wow, why couldnt this just have been funny?


You never see the Elite Liberal Media talking about Bush's Silver Kegger award. It's always about Kerry Kerry Kerry... did he really get injured all that bad. Meanwhile the Bush medals get no attention.

We probably could have won the Viet Nam war, if only John Kerry wouldn't have spent so much time begging his superior officers to nominate him for medals that he didn't deserve. Come on, the guy was not injured all that bad!

That stuff about Kerry requesting to be sent to Viet Nam, then re-enlisting for a another tour, it's just a big smoke screen... don't be fooled!

Damn that Liberal Media!


Does it really matter? The Right can't stand it; always nitpicking and digging up doctors to discredit medals. Who cares. The fact is everyone in office dodged the draft multiple times and Kerry was there. He fought, he killed, he sees that we didn't belong there (which we didn't for Christ's sake), and he protests. Whoopie-fuckin' do. Does it really matter what medals were won or what the service entailed? He saw combat, went through boot, went through the fear of dying, saw death, and you know, didn't like it much. Its a lot easier to send people away to their deaths when you have no clue what its like to face it yourself. If Bush wants to impress someone, on the next campaign he sends soldiers on, if he believes in it so much he should send both his daughters into the service. I don't care if they are riding desks.

Stop nitpicking. I don't care about this argument; I'm Libertarian, but I just can't believe that people are supporting draft dodging pussies that enjoy canned hunts over someone that just went to serve. I don't care if Kerry was a cook, he still did what his country asked him to.


lumpy, elkhrtn1, lucid,

Thanks for the nonsense. I, along with 99% of the military are going to vote for George W. Bush. John Kerry can be summed up in one word, ridiculous. He is appearing more and more unstable. You can't have instability in office. It invites aggression. It disheartens our allies. Here are a few of John Kerry's recent comments.

  1. "I actually voted for George Bush's Iraq/Afghanistan reconstruction bill before I voted against it."

  2. "I don't have SUV's but my family does."

  3. "George Bush's bus was made in Canada." Therefore, the assumption is that he must not support American jobs. Oh, wait, John Kerry's bus was made in Canada. Oops.

You fools can vote for this guy if you wish. I'll stick with a President who has restored the pride in our military. I'll vote for a President who says what he means and means what he says.

Your comments about the Vietnam Veteran Doctor shows quite clearly your ignorance about Physicians. Physicians learn an average of 100,000 new words in medical school. These aren't words like "it, the, or or." (You know, the words you have been able to finally master in your 35 years of life). Then, they apply extremely complicated concepts in the context of life and death situations. They make the most critical decisions alone. Now imagine this same Doctor treating patients under ENEMY FIRE.
Do not go against this seventy-something Doctor in a critical thinking contest. You would lose very badly.
Now, imagine you have a guy who looks like Frankenstein's monster come in with what appears to be a superficial arm wound. Then imagine that he tells you that he is going to be the next JFK. Then imagine seeing that guy with Jane Fonda telling everyone about the "atrocities being committed by the average American Soldier." I would venture that you, elk, even with your extremely limited mental powers, would be able to remember that guy.


Beefpie, this is funny. Get a grip already.

If you read a bit further afield, you'll find that the original report that the doctor filed at the time was not critical in any way.

Who gives a fuck anyway. Nobody is claiming the other two purple hearts were less than normal injuries. How biased do you have to be to try to discredit 1 of 3 purple hearts and then ignore his real medal?


The doctor claims that Kerry had a metal splinter that was barely under his skin, then the doc covered it up with a band aid?

Well, based on that doctor's report, the US Navy is a bunch of pussies who give out Purple Hearts whenever a guy skins a knee or breaks a fingernail.

Is that the official Republican position?


I don't care if the purple heart was received for getting a BJ from a nurse with braces. That is beside the point.

As far as Kerry's instability, the same can be said of idealogues like Bush and Company.

I think the modern liberals are ruining this country, but that doesn't mean the Bush is doing any better. For some reason, he seems to favor socialism. They are both wrong; why not take steps to revert the country to its beginnings. Classical Liberals understand what freedom is. The freedom to choose what you do as long as it doesn't infringe on others, and the freedom to take part in a true free market economy. This has nothing to do with taxation and conglomerate corporations. That is socialism. Socialism sucks.

I'm not entirely certain what that means relative to the next election other than I would prefer moderates in government. That pretty much rules out Bush.


Interesting how the tables have turned. Bill Clinton flees to Oxford, writes a letter to his recruiter quote: "I have no sympathy for those who fight and die for their country", runs against George Bush Sr. -- a decorated WWII veteran -- but we are told military service in the past of course has no bearing. Same thing when it was brought up four years later against Bob Dole, another decorated veteran with a long legislative history of being pro-defense.

Now John Kerry, a decorated veteran of Vietnam, runs against George W., who at LEAST stayed in the country as a national guardsman, and suddenly military records are a primary element of the election.

I have a lot of respect for John Kerry's service -- certainly his response doesn't automatically make him a joke as Willy's did. I think the efforts to denigrate his medals by the Rush Limbaughs are offensive. If this were the first position Kerry were going for, and he had just got out of the service, I think it would reflect very favorably on him.

However, he has spent the ensuing several decades in public office. He has a long, abysmal legislative record when it comes to national defense. If I were electing him to run a Navy boat in the Delta, I might pick him over Bush. But he's running for President, not 2nd Lieutenant.

I want moral and political courage, and barring that, I'd at least want to know who I'm voting for. With Kerry, I feel like I'm looking at several years of physical bravery followed by several decades of moral and legislative cowardice. Come on, stand where you stand! I have more respect for that than trying to play all sides of the issue.

As an independent I am furious that this is the best that the dems can do. Now all the stuff that the republicans do that I don't agree with will get ram-rodded through because the democrats are going to get crushed. If John Kerry is the best they can do they deserve it.


Bringing up Clinton is pointless. I don't think that Clinton is running this time around. I'm sure he didn't want to go but as far as Air National Guard, so what? What difference does it make. Who cares about Bush's past? If he's done drinking then at least his decision making isn't clouded by that. Everyone seems to be making a big deal about people's service records. Kerry is the only one who has one in this case. Bush serving in the Air National Guard is equivalent to serving in the Eagle Scouts. He didn't do wartime boot, he didn't fear for his life, he didn't lose friends in his immediate vicinity, and probably never fired a shot in anger with the exception of probably some late-night drunken stupor.

The simple fact of the matter is that Kerry went. That's it. He went and did it. Lots of people came back and protested the war. Well no shit, even the people that started it apologized for it. Americans were losing their lives over there for no purpose or reason. Its probably really similar to what is happening right now in Iraq. Only time will tell; perhaps they will actually create something good out of this.


"He has a long, abysmal legislative record when it comes to national defense."

Uh, no he doesn't. He has a very good record on defense spending, if you will look beyond the superficial attack ads from Bush.

The military began scaling down under Bush 1. The Bush ads list all these things that Kerry voted against (tanks, bombers etc). What they don't tell you is that Cheney voted the same way. You have to consider the context if you want to discuss this intelligently. When looking at Kerry's voting record on the military, you can't just say "Kerry voted against this weapon" or that weapon without considering the circumstances. Many bills are loaded with pork spending and get voted down for good reasons. If you only look at things on the surface or get your news from Sean Hannity, you will not have a context for someone's voting record. Lucky for Bush, he has absolutely no voting record to run on, he has never had to actually govern on a national level until recently.

I suggest that people look at the voting record of Dick Cheney on weapons systems, and the recommendations of Rumsfeld when he worked for Bush #1. Cheney's voting record does not stand up to this kind of scrutiny, he voted against the EXACT same weapons bills that Bush's ads are attacking Kerry for voting against, and Cheney also tried to kill weapons like the Blackhawk helicopter.

Of course, the Elite Liberal Media won't tell you that, they are too busy discussing important issues like how serious Kerry's injuries were.