MILITARY RECORD OF SENATOR JOHN KERRY
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I had the good fortune a week ago this past Saturday to be in Las Vegas. At that time, I spoke about the military record of Senator JOHN KERRY. In fact, I not only spoke about the military record of JOHN KERRY, but I read verbatim from the two citations for heroism he received.
The first citation for heroism he received was presented to him by Admiral Zumwalt. In that citation, it talked about what Senator Kerry did to earn the Silver Star. In effect, what he did is as follows:
Senator Kerry was the commander of a swift boat. A swift boat was a boat that would move very quickly, and they used it in the rivers of Southeast Asia. They were subject to ambushes and attacks, especially before there was something done to make sure the shoreline was free of foliage. They were attacked often.
In this instance, a rocket hit his swift boat, blew all the windows out of it, and, of course, injured people on board the boat. Senator Kerry at that time directed the swift boat to, rather than go away from the battle, go into the battle and go to shore. As soon as he got close enough to the shore to get off the boat, he got off the boat, and before the enemy had time to fire the second rocket, they were killed by Senator JOHN KERRY. This is the reason he was given his first Silver Star.
The Bronze Star was awarded when again his boat was hit from shore. One crewman was blown off the craft in the water. They were taking fire at this time. Senator Kerry, even though he was injured-his right arm was bleeding badly-directed fire toward the enemy, got the swift boat close enough to the man in the water, and he personally pulled the man out of the water.
These are, in synopsis, the two acts of heroism for which Senator Kerry was decorated. He was decorated with the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. He was, of course, also given three Purple Hearts. Purple Hearts are given when someone is injured in battle.
There is no question that what JOHN KERRY did in Southeast Asia, specifically in Vietnam, was heroic. That is why he was given these medals. I think it is outrageous for people to criticize his military service to our country.
It is obvious this administration knows America loves a war hero, and JOHN KERRY is a war hero. So what does the administration do? They do everything they can to denigrate this fine man rather than talk about policy in Iraq, tax policy, environmental policy, economic policy, and health care policy. I think it is wrong that they are doing this, and I think they should get back to talking about the issues that are important.
America knows JOHN KERRY is a war hero. No matter how many times the Vice President speaks at universities criticizing JOHN KERRY's military record, you cannot take away the facts. He was presented by the military authorities of our country two medals for heroism. They speak for themselves.