The Chicago Sun/Times has been looking onto Kerry's records. It gets confusing. There are all sorts of irregularities. One of them is the "V" designation for his Silver Star.
B.G. Burkett, a Vietnam veteran himself, received the highest award the Army gives to a civilian, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, for his book Stolen Valor. Burkett pored through thousands of military service records, uncovering phony claims of awards and fake claims of military service. "I've run across several claims for Silver Stars with combat V's, but they were all in fake records," he said
Then there is the fact that there are three citations for the award.
Maj. Anthony Milavic, a retired Marine Vietnam veteran, calls the issuance of three citations for the same medal "bizarre." Milavic hosts Milinet, an Internet forum popular with the military community that is intended "to provide a forum in military/political affairs."
Normally in the case of a lost citation, Milavec points out, the awardee simply asked for a copy to be sent to him from his service personnel records office where it remains on file. "I have never heard of multi-citations from three different people for the same medal award," he said. Nor has Burkett: "It is even stranger to have three different descriptions of the awardee's conduct in the citations for the same award."
The last of these citations raises its own questions.
Former Navy Secretary John Lehman has no idea where a Silver Star citation displayed on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's campaign Web site came from, he said Friday. The citation appears over Lehman's signature.
"It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me," he said.
That's what Kerry gets for running on his war record from 35 years ago in an unpopular war instead of running on his senate record.
Of course, his senate record has a problem, also. For most of 2003 and 2004, he has been AWOL from the senate. He didn't resign from the senate but he has been bush campaigning. The result is that he has only made a few (I think it is two) votes this year. That led to this counter-protest.
The Veterans for Kerry were met by another veterans group calling themselves Veterans for Working Senators who are protesting Kerry's poor attendance record in his day job. According to this Berkshire Eagle report the Veterans for Working Senators complaint boils down to:
"We have no reason to question your [Kerry's] service in the jungles of Vietnam. But we have many questions about your service in the jungles of Washington, D.C.," the letter stated. "To use a military term, you have been absent without leave from the halls of Congress. Even worse, you have continued to accept your full salary for what amounts to a no-show job."