For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
KERRY CAMPAIGN BACKTRACKS ON FIRST PURPLE HEART AWARD
Campaign Says May Have Been Self-Inflicted
Washington -— In a reversal of their staunch defense of John Kerry’s military service record, Kerry campaign officials were quoted by Fox News saying that it was indeed possible that John Kerry’s first Purple Heart commendation was
the result of an, unintentional, self-inflicted wound.
GARRETT: "And questions keep coming. For example, Kerry received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered on December 2, 1968. But in Kerry's own journal written nine days later, he writes he and his crew, quote, 'hadn't been shot at yet,' unquote. Kerry's campaign has said it is possible this first Purple Heart was awarded for an unintentional self-inflicted wound -- Brit."
(Special Report with Brit Hume Aug.23, 2004)
A recent television ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth featured Doctor Louis Letson who treated Kerry for his minor injury and Grant Hibbard who served as John Kerry’s direct commander on the mission where he claimed his
medal. Both men say Kerry did not deserve the medal given the fact that Kerry received a very minor wound requiring no more than band-aid treatment and because the wound was not a direct result of hostile fire, a requirement for a Purple Heart commendation.
"When Grant Hibbard and Doctor Letson appeared in our ad, they were attacked and vilified by the Kerry campaign but now we see news reports saying the Kerry campaign is now sheepishly acknowledging that what we said was true,"
said Admiral Hoffmann, founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "John Kerry’s own journal reinforces the fact that neither Kerry nor his crew had seen hostile enemy action. John Kerry’s first Purple Heart medal is based on fiction."
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is calling on the Kerry campaign to apologize to Grant Hibbard and Doctor Letson as the men did nothing more than come forward to speak the truth about the situation involving John Kerry’s first Purple Heart medal.
This is not the only incident in which Kerry campaign officials have changed their story concerning Kerry’s prestigious war medals. The incident on the Bay Hap River in which Kerry received his third Purple Heart and Bronze Star
has also been the subject of considerable waffling by Kerry officials. During the Democratic National Convention, Kerry used the Bay Hap River incident to suggest that he alone returned to rescue Jim Rassmann —- a Special
Forces soldier -— who was on Kerry’s boat and was tossed into the river. Kerry described this incident to the American people as "No man left behind."
However, Kerry officials were forced to acknowledge that Kerry’s boat actually left the scene when another swift boat -— operating on the other side of the river —- was damaged by an underwater mine. Kerry officials now admit
that Kerry’s boat returned after several minutes to pull Rassmann from the water while three other swift boats remained on site to render assistance to the injured crew of the one damaged boat. Campaign officials once claimed that Kerry returned to the scene under withering hostile fire to rescue Rassmann after all the other swift boats left. But other accounts from eyewitnesses of that day confirm that the other boats stayed on site and that Kerry returned to the scene, facing no enemy fire, only seconds before
another swift boat was preparing to retrieve Mr. Rassmann from the water.
"John Kerry’s stories are falling apart," added Hoffmann. His statements don’t even match up with his own journal entries. We are going to continue telling the truth about John Kerry’s military service record so that the American people can make their own decisions about John Kerry’s qualifications to be the next Commander in Chief."
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