"John Kerry, Vietnam War hero." Everyday the media tiptoes around John Kerry as if he is an icon of service to the Nation. But why is his service to the Nation in war not balanced against his return to longhaired freakdom to march against his fellow veterans still in the war, including myself? I was especially incensed when my communist captors quoted him in propaganda.

I had a discussion with Senator Kerry in Bangkok, Thailand. He made some surprising statements during that exchange. He stated emphatically that I should provide him with any information I had on missing Americans. This, he stated, he would take to Hanoi to discuss with the Communists. He didn't seem to understand the Communists knew where the POWs were and needed no help from him to "find them." Expert on war? Hardly! He then stated that no matter what I had there would be no military operation to rescue them. In other words, Senator Kerry felt that Americans were worth talking about, but not worth fighting for.

Kerry brought up his service on patrol boats in Vietnam in a very defensive way with me: "You weren't the only one in that war. I was on those patrol boats." My answer: "Surely you are not attempting to compare anything you did in that war to my contribution to that endeavor!" I did not say that to belittle the Senator, but to only give him a reality check. He said he had an important appointment. The insinuation was it dealt with the MIAs. Then a small child came up to us and said, "My Mom said it is time to go." Kerry sheepishly moved away. "All show and no go!" Just another paper thin ego.

I was invited to lunch by his staffer Francis. She stated in an adoring manner that John Kerry would some day be the President of the United States. My answer was short and succinct. " Based on what?" She said, "He's a war hero." I said, "But he then marched in a filthy uniform and threw his medals over the White House fence." She then told me the medals were someone else's. I merely stated it showed disrespect to honors received on the battlefield by "Someone." End of discussion on that.

Someone in the Asian customs started a rumor that Senator Kerry purchased a tiger skin in Vietnam and officials were told to ignore it. Somehow Vietnam Veterans got the story and, as far as I know, there has never been a denial from the great "environmentalist" John Kerry. But true or not, it gives a good look at how Kerry operates. Take the "war hero" next. Take the "Champion of MIAs" one day and the "We aren't going to war for them" the next day and you have John Kerry.

Senator Kerry threatened to order me before his committee unless I gave him intelligence to carry to Hanoi. My answer? "You do not have to order me before your committee, I'll be there." I waited but, when I called Francis and said I was in America and ready to put the record straight on the rumor about Ross Perot being spread by committee staff, she said: "I'm sorry, Mark. We have run out of money to bring you here." I said: "I have miles to burn and will pay my own way." She said she would discuss it with Kerry and get back to me. I never heard from her or the "War Hero" again. Vietnam Veterans beware. The best way to describe John Kerry's attempts to be all things to all people is, "Heinz 57."

There has been much sniping at President Bush for being a fighter pilot in the Air National Guard. Liberals who seem to believe September Eleventh was somehow our fault and most surely the President's, laugh at his flying to an aircraft carrier to welcome home U.S. Troops. They said he looked silly dressed as a pilot. No candidate for President had more right to dress like that than George Bush; he is a fighter pilot. Where were these people when the draft dodging Clinton wore a "Tanker Jacket" when visiting the troops? A part of a uniform he evaded wearing in time of war. I hope Kerry does not show up to see the troops, if elected, in the ragged field jacket and head band he wore in the peace marches. When time to honor a battlefield hero, I hope he does not have a "flashback" and throw our Nation's highest award over the White House fence. After all, he does think throwing other people's medals over that fence is all right.

Lastly, as Guard and Reserve Troops fight and die for our freedom, I don't want any Commander In Chief who would think their service a joke. Further, if the big time Vietnam Veteran Kerry knew a thing about the Vietnam War, other than how deep the river was, he would know Guard and Reserve Pilots regularly flew combat missions in Vietnam. I for one appreciated the support.

"War Hero?" O.K., he received the Silver Star. But, "Expert" on war? No, John. But those of us who are will take the honest leadership of President Bush anytime over you. You have not changed a bit from the time of the Vietnam War. Your wet finger is still in the air checking the political winds, before making any decision or changing one already made. We are at war and I know war. Your brand of equivocation on every issue costs lives in a war and I don't want more dead and wounded here and abroad. You went to war and then marched against it and those of us who still fought. I know you as "Springtime Patriot" and then as a "Winter Soldier." People should look up what you said during your "Winter Soldier" days. You voted for the present war and now you condemn it. You may be an Ivy League graduate, but your war record is minor league and your leadership is straight out of the "Waffle House." If being President is going to be based on medals earned in battle, there are a whole lot of us in front of you, John Kerry. There is one last thing that places all of your fellow veterans ahead of you in the honor department, with the exception of a few of your fellow "Winter Solders." We had too much respect for our fellow warriors, who fell on the field of battle, to throw even our lowest award over the White House fence. If you keep running on the "warrior ticket," you will lose, sailor! For on that ticket, you are who you have always been.......NOBODY.



Two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have questioned his veracity on critical issues when he was NATO Commander In Chief. That about does it for me and pretty much explains his love for the ultimate liar Bill Clinton. Enough said.


Copyright 2004, by Mark A. Smith - DSC, Major, USA, Retired

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