John Kerry admits he committed fraud
It's funny how your words can come back to haunt you. In John Kerry's case, his own words convict him of fraud.
In 1968, having been in Vietnam for less than a month, John Kerry wrote these words in his diary, "A cocky air of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel, because we hadn't been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven't been shot at are allowed to be cocky."
If he hadn't been shot at on December 11, 1968, then he is admitting that his first Purple Heart was fraudulently obtained. That Purple Heart was awarded for action that took place on December 2, 1968. (Oddly, the date of the citation is 2/28/69, almost three months after the injury was incurred. The second and third purple hearts were cited 13 days and 35 days after the injuries.)
The regulations for a Purple Heart clearly state that an injury must be the result of enemy action and "(5) Examples of injuries or wounds which clearly do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart are as follows:......(h) Self-inflicted wounds, except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence." Kerry's wound could not have been inflicted by enemy fire. He admits this in his diary. Therefore the wound had to be self-inflicted, just as Lt. Schachte stated at the time. It also could not have been "in the heat of battle" because they were not being fired upon. Kerry's first wound therefore does not quality for a Purple Heart.
The only way he could have obtained it would be to produce the medical records (as the award requires), misrepresent the incident by claiming they were engaged with the enemy and then request the award. When doing so, he would have had to speak to an officer who was not aware of the incident. Grant Hibbard was his CO in December. Hibbard turned down Kerry's request for the award because he didn't believe it qualified after questioning the involved witnesses.
In February, when Kerry received the award, he would have been requesting it from John O'Neill, who would not have known about the incident because he was commander of COSDIV 11, where Kerry was then serving, and not COSDIV 14, where Kerry was when he was wounded.
The Purple Heart is a unique medal. It is the only medal that does not require a recommendation from a superior officer.
While clearly an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not 'recommended' for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.Kerry has clearly convicted himself, with his own words, of fraudulently obtaining a Purple Heart. In doing so, he has dishonored the many men and woman who have served honorably and shed their blood in defense of freedom.
(1) A Purple Heart is authorized for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each subsequent award an Oak Leaf Cluster will be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon. Not more than one award will be made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant or from the same missile, force, explosion, or agent.
(2) A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.
(3) When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is the degree to which the enemy caused the injury. The fact that the proposed recipient was participating in direct or indirect combat operations is a necessary prerequisite, but is not sole justification for award.