Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Kerry's First Purple Heart

You know, this whole matter is becoming more than a little odorous. Here is a story from The Boston Globe regarding Kerry's first Purple Heart which contains these interesting passages:

"He had a little scratch on his forearm, and he was holding a piece of shrapnel," recalled Kerry's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Grant Hibbard. "People in the office were saying, `I don't think we got any fire,' and there is a guy holding a little piece of shrapnel in his palm." Hibbard said he couldn't be certain whether Kerry actually came under fire on Dec. 2, 1968, the date in questioned and that is why he said he asked Kerry questions about the matter.

But Kerry persisted and, to his own "chagrin," Hibbard said, he dropped the matter. "I do remember some questions, some correspondence about it," Hibbard said. "I finally said, `OK, if that's what happened . . . do whatever you want.' After that, I don't know what happened. Obviously, he got it, I don't know how."

Then there is this:

"Back at the base, Kerry told Hibbard he qualified for a Purple Heart, according to Hibbard. Thirty-six years later, Hibbard, reached at his retirement home in Florida, said he can still recall Kerry's wound, and that it resembled a scrape from a fingernail. "I've had thorns from a rose that were worse," said Hibbard, a registered Republican who said he was undecided on the 2004 presidential race."

Of course, he's a registered Republican! That explains it! For the life of me, I cannot see how Hibbard's political registration has any bearing on the story. Far more interesting is the fact that Kerry received three Purple Hearts, in four months, seemingly without missing any duty.

Look, I don't mean to denigrate anyone's service or accomplishments. Personally, I would just feel a little squeamish receiving a Purple Heart for a superficial wound, knowing that others were receiving the same medal for loss of limbs and permanent disfigurement. It just doesn't speak well of the man.

True heroes don't have to constantly identify themselves as such.