T Nation

Letter on John Kerry from fellow Vietnam veteran


"This was sent to me by a fellow SEAL who lives in Colorado. The author of the article is a former Green Beret who lives/works in Colorado. For those of you who are old enough to vote, but not old enough to remember the Vietnam War, I'd like to make sure BOTH sides of the story are heard.

This is a bit long, but worth the reading... I'll send another one along next time.

How did we who served in Vietnam suddenly become cold-blooded killers, torturers, and rapists, of the ilk of the Nazi SS or the Taliban? Most of us were American soldiers who grew up idolizing John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and all the other heroes. That was why I volunteered. But for political expediency, John Kerry has rewritten history, again. After spending only four months in the country of Vietnam, John Kerry testified before Congress in 1971 with these exact words about incidents he supposedly witnessed or heard about from other vets:

?They personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."

I was a green beret officer who volunteered for duty in Vietnam and fought in the thick of it in 1968 and 1969 on a Special Forces A-team on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, just for starters. We were the elite. We saw the most action. Everybody in the world knows that. But we did not just kill people, we built a church, a school, treated illnesses, passed out soap, food, and clothing, and had fun and loving interaction with the indigenous people of Vietnam, just like our boys did in Normandy, Baghdad, Saigon, and everywhere American soldiers ever served. We all gave away our candy bars and rations to kids. Our hearts to oppressed people all over the globe.

My children and grandchildren could read your words, and think those horrendous things about me, Mr. Kerry. You are a bold-faced, unprincipled liar, and a disgrace, and you have dishonored me and all my fellow Vietnam veterans. Sure, there were a couple bad-apples, but I saw none, and I saw it all, and if I did, as an army officer, it was my obligation to stop it, or at the very least report it. Why is there not a single record anywhere of you ever reporting any incidents like this or having the perpetrators arrested? The answer is simple. You are a liar. Your medals and mine are not a free pass for lifetime, Senator Kerry, to bypass character, integrity, and morality. I earn my green beret over and over daily in all aspects of my life.

Eight National Guard green berets, and other National Guard soldiers, have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you totally dishonored their widows and families by lumping National Guard service in with being a draft-dodger, conscientious objector, and deserter, just so you can try to sabotage the patriotism of our President who proudly served as an Air National Guard jet pilot. I have a son earning his green beret at Fort Bragg right now, and his wife serves honorably in the Air National Guard, just like President Bush did, and I am as proud of her as I am my son. I volunteered for Vietnam and have no problem whatsoever with President Bush being our Commander-In-Chief. In fact, I am proud of him as our leader.

John Kerry, you personally derailed the Vietnam Human Rights Bill, HR2883, in 2001, after it had passed the House by a 411 to 1 vote, and thousands of pro-American Montagnard tribespeople in Vietnam died since then who could have been saved, by you. Earlier, as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on MIA/POW Affairs, you personally quashed the efforts of any and all veterans to report sightings of living POW?s, when you held those reins in Congress. You have fought tooth and nail to push for the US to normalize relations with Vietnam for years. Why, Mr. Kerry? Simple, your first cousin C. Stewart Forbes, CEO, of Colliers International, recently signed a contract with Hanoi, worth BILLIONS of dollars for Collier?s International to become the exclusive real estate representative for the country of Vietnam.

?Hanoi John,? now that it works for you, you beat your chest about your Vietnam service, but to me, you are a phony, opportunistic, hypocrite. You are one of those politicians that is like a fertilizer machine: all that comes out of you is horse manure, and you are spreading it everywhere.

Medals do not make a man. Morals do.

Written by Don Bendell, Canon City, Colorado."

It also has come to my attention that, during Vietnam, several officers in Kerry's position were trying to get hit by small pieces of shrapnel from their boats, because three shrapnel injuries earns you the purple hearts AND the right to go home. I am not questioning John Kerry's medals, but it does make you think. His 3 shrapnel wounds took all of 2 days to take care of. Also, just because Kerry shot a man whom his colleague had already shot, and who was running away, does NOT mean he's a fuckin hero. Honorable, yes. I don't doubt the situatiom he found himself in was very demanding and stressful, not to mention nerve-wrecking, but we have to make a distinction between honorable service and heroic service. Anyone can shoot a man who's already been shot and who's running away. There are real heros, and not only is John Kerry not one of them, he dishonored them by calling them cold blooded killers and monsters - AND he admitted it wasn't true later on!

Way to go Mr Kerry. No integrity? No vote for you! Next!


If you spent as much time honing your craft as you do typing up cockamamie theories and political crapola, you might just turn out to be a good trainer.


And, what are your thoughts on Bush TODAY Diesel?


That is some real shitt...And its true...Thanks for your service and some of US can see through the Bullshitt that the Liberals spray all over us...

Im still a Marine (inactive reserve) who served under that punk ass clinton and did all his lame ass little wars (Bosnia, Haiti) which no one bitched about and they are still shitt hole countries!

Being mad because of what he said about juice is stupid...As though any politician would get on TV and say "hey juice is good Im gonna legalize it right away !!" is freakin stupid...His statements are not gonna hamper your ability to buy your vitamins anymore than they already are...And the laws in most states can't get any more strict than they are towards them...In my state they are classified the same as crack...


I hate to break the news to you Diesel, but a lot of bad things Did Happen in Vietnam.

Ever heard of My Lai?... Lieutenant William Calley?

Did everyone of our soldiers over there commit atrocities? Hell no.

But, in some areas/instances there were breakdowns in discipline. This is well documented and has been reported.

I would say that well-trained and led Green Berets and other Special Force units would be much less apt to have breakdowns in unit discipline. These groups would be much less likely to commit illegal acts.

Yes, Kerry is a politician. But, do you or your friend really know what he saw?


do you work for the GOP?


HAHA .... building churches and fucking hospitals in Vietnam ??????? What a crock of shit ! Isn't it funny how the guy who saw the most 'action' was too busy building churches and hospitals, or possibly making noodle paintings with the little Vietnamese children?


The difference is that Mi Lai was reported to proper authorities and investigated. If Kerry had any knowledge at the time that anything illegal was going on it was as much his duty to report that as it was to kill the enemy. He did not do so. That means anything he reported afterward is most likely hearsay, and we know how accurate that is.

Did bad things happen? Fuck yes. The only man I know for sure my dad killed in Vietanam was one of our own people. The guy was tripping on something, killed a few people in a bar and had hostages. They waited him out for half a day but it seemed as if he was going to kill some of the hostages so they took him out. That was all reported and documented in the proper way.

He was on a supply run when his guard shot and killed an old man on a bicycle. The guard was young, new in country, and scared shitless of everything. He thought the old toothless guy was going to hijack an empty flatbed and so he put 3 rounds into his chest. My dad took his guns, put him in the cab, and REPORTED it.

Did they bust people with heroin and other drugs too? Yep, all documented and reported.

See a common thread here? If my dad, an E-7, could do the right thing you'd think an officer should be able to as well. So Kerry is either full of shit now or was derelict in his duty then. Which do you think will get the best spin?


You have no argument from me that Kerry should have reported things he saw in Vietnam if he believed they were improper/illegal.

I'm not saying that Kerry is an angel and that he's not politically motivated.

All of these guys (candidates) are politically motivated whether they're from the right or the left. It doesn't matter. They're going to give you the spin that they want you to have.

It's up to us to be intelligent and attempt to see through all the bullshit.


"If you spent as much time honing your craft as you do typing up cockamamie theories and political crapola, you might just turn out to be a good trainer." - Ilcazzo

....THAT coming from the guy who went out of his way to reply to a thread he's not interested in.

Talk about wasting time.

*** There is more to life than 3 lb dumbells. Some of us actually have an interest in our future. I know...whoda thunk we're not all braindead?


I don't care wether you're politically motivated.

I care about your integrity and character as a leader. Mr Kerry has proven, even if 30 years ago, that his character and integrity are lacking to say the least.

If you don't have integrity you don't deserve to be a leader. A leader leads by actions and example - not by words. And John Kerry is VERY good with words, but his actions tell me he's a motherfucking bastard. End of story.



Kerry is no different than any other politician... right or left.

Poking a zillion holes in GW would not be too hard either.


By definition all politicians are prevaricators. Some, like Clinton, assume that we are all idiots and take it to extremes. Most just try and mold their image and ideals to what they think we want. If they all told the truth, no one would evet get elected.

In my book, Kerry has only done two things unforgiveable:

Voluntarily leaving his Swiftie crew in Vietnam to bail out of a combat situation, and

Dishonoring his fellow serviceman by his post war actions.

For those actions, and those actions only, I cannot forgive the man and vote for him. Had he been a stand up man back then, it would almost be a toss up with me between Bush and Kerry, with Bush having a slight edge.


There WERE atrocities committed in Viet Nam.

Some of you guys say Kerry shouldn't have said anything at all, others say he should have said something sooner.

One thing is for sure, Kerry was actually in VietNam while George Bush stayed home and drank a whole bunch of beer.


Diesel good post. The letter was to the point.

Folks: realize that everyone here gets their news from the media. With the exception of the Veterans you have all gotten your Vietnam knowledge from the media and entertainment industry which has painted "Vietnam as Bad. War Protestors as Good." It is part of a liberal slant in the Media. Agree with it or not it is as plain as day.

Take this test. What do your think the media would have said if Bill Clinton (liberal democrat) was a National Guard fighter pilot? They would have tripped over themselves admiring him. Now take George Bush, what do they say about his service in the Guard? At least realize when someone is blowing smoke up your ass. It is the first step towards wisdom.



Very good post. lumpy won't think about it (he never does). However, you might influence some of the moderate posters.

By the way, remember in 1992 when kerry said that billyboy's lack (actually, refusal) of service should not be an issue? This is the core of my problem with him. It's called HYPOCRISY AND beliefs based on POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY.
Agree with him or not, we know where George W. stands on issues. I'll take someone who is steadfast ANY DAY, over the hypocrite.

jamescarville/ hillary/ terrymcauliffe/chuckschumer/ billyboy in 2004!!!