Dangerous Duty for Kerry -- (House of Representatives - April 22, 2004)
(Mr. PALLONE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, JOHN KERRY volunteered for service in the Navy during the Vietnam War where he served as skipper on a swift boat that patrolled the Mekong Delta. Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who devised Operation Sea Lord, calculated in his biography that swift boat sailors had a 75 percent chance of being killed or wounded during a typical war. Under Sea Lord, swift boat duty was one of the most dangerous duties you could draw in the entire U.S. Navy. KERRY was wounded three times in Vietnam, received three Purple Hearts for those injuries. He was also awarded a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his actions in combat.
In addition to the individual awards for bravery, KERRY's unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon by President Richard Nixon.
I could go on, but I have to say I am ashamed to hear the statements that are being made by Republicans, by my colleagues on the other side, talking about Senator Kerry, who served so honorably, who was a decorated veteran. And if he decided that he wanted to question the Vietnam War after serving in it, that was his right as an American.