Press Release -- May 17, 2004

Thursday, July 01 2004 @ 07:40 PM PDT


Kerry Fraudulently Using Picture of Swift Boat Vets who Condemn him in National Advertising

(May 17 -- Alexandria, VA) Today, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of more than 220 Swift Boat veterans from the unit in which John Kerry served, call on Kerry to stop the unauthorized use of their images in national campaign advertising.

For example, the photo in Kerry’s national campaign ads contains 20 officers, including Kerry, 11 of whom signed a letter condemning Kerry yet their image is being widely used in his own campaign. It was taken on the island of An Thoi on January 22, 1969. These officers together with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth call upon him to cease the unauthorized use of their photo by his campaign. They are jointly submitting the attached letter to John Kerry. (Photo, letter to Kerry, link to authorized use of the photo and earlier letter to Kerry below.)

Of the remaining eight officers in the photo: two are deceased and four do not wish to be involved in any manner; only two of the 20 are believed to support Kerry.

William Shumadine, shown in the photo and a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, stated, “His use of a photograph with his 19 comrades with knowledge that 11 of them condemn him and six who cannot or do not want to be involved is a complete misrepresentation to the public and a total fraud.”

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s sole purpose is to bring the truth about John Kerry’s service to the American public and is not affiliated with any political organization. It includes more than 220 Swift vets, virtually the entire chain of command Kerry reported to and a large majority of peers who served with him during his short and controversial stay in Vietnam. The group’s purpose has struck a cord with the American public with more than two million hits on its website

“John Kerry will find that the truth is hard to contain. It’s been evident in the overwhelming support we have received over the last two weeks. We’re grateful to the veterans and Americans who are rallying behind us,” said Admiral Roy Hoffman, Chairman of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a Special Purpose Political Action Committee. It is a tax exempt non-partisan public advocacy “527”organization consisting of, and limited to, former military officers and enlisted men who served in Vietnam on U.S. Navy Swift Boats or in affiliated commands. Chairman, Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann (retired). Treasurer, Weymouth “Wey” Symmes, PO Box 26184, Alexandria, VA 22313

Dear Senator Kerry:

Your campaign advertising includes a picture of the 20 officers photographed at An Thoi. We did not give permission for you to use a photo including our image, nor do we support you. We have, in fact, signed a letter delivered to you calling on you to authorize the Department of Defense to release all of your medical and military records. We call upon you personally to do this. We join our fellow Swiftees who believe that someone who heaped scorn and lies on his own unit for his personal political gain is not fit to be Commander in Chief.

Signers Names in Bold

Kneeling (left to right)

William Imbrie (not involved)
Skip Barker (for Kerry)
Rich Baker (not involved)
William Shumadine
Ralph Dobson (for Kerry)
Frank Gilbert (deceased)

Standing (left to right)

Robert Elder
Larry Thurlow
Robert Crosby (deceased)
Rich MaCann (not involved)
John Kerry
Thomas Herritage
George Bates
James Galvin
Terrance Cosstello

Back Row (left to right)

William Hoole
Michael Bernique (not involved)
Robert “Rocky” Hildreth
George Elliott
Al French

Picture of Remaining Supporters

Production and use of photo below courtesy of

Link to Unauthorized Use of Photo:

Lifetime TV commercial.