The American Gazette

Commonsense political and social commentary from "Flyover Country"

Location: Rural Michigan, United States

Friday, August 27, 2004

Stolen Valor

I have always been a political person, but never have I felt a personal interest in political elections. This presidential election however, is personal.
Just over 4 years ago myself and my family were on our way to Hawaii for a vacation that was much more than a simple vacation for me. From 1969 to 1971 I had lived in Hawaii, stationed at barbers Point Naval Base, with my active duty dad. The flight to Hawaii, with a short layover in Los Angeles, was going to take us some 10 hours so I had bought a book to read. That book was "Stolen Valor".
I had gone to Barnes and Nobles looking for anything that would capture my attention through a long plane ride. I rarely read fiction, and generally look for books on history. I have been an amateur student of history for years. After looking around I came across "Stolen Valor". I'm not sure that I would have picked that book had I not been going to Hawaii. Let me explain that a bit.
The years we lived in Hawaii were some of the most contentious over the Vietnam war. We landed in Hawaii the night I turned 6 years old, so while I was young during this time frame, I clearly remember the nightly news and my parents reactions to not only the news from Vietnam, but their reactions to anti-war protestors. Discussions over the war, the way my parents and their friends felt it was being reported on and the behavior of anti-war protestors was common occurrences in my home. My memories of Hawaii have always loomed large in my head also because it was the last place that I had lived with my dad. My parents split up and later divorced shortly after we came back from Hawaii.To top off the way I was feeling about going back to a place where I had been an exceedingly happy youngster and all those memories of being with my dad, was the news I received two days before we were to leave.

My dad had called to ask me to find time to get to Tennessee where he lived so I could go through his home and decide what I would like from it. He told me that he and my step mom had decided to downsize the house and he wanted me to pick out various pieces of furniture etc... That I would like. None of this made any sense to me. My dad had retired after 33 years of service only a few years before that, and the house was not a large house to begin with. I simply knew something was wrong. So I questioned him several times when suddenly he dropped the phone and I could hear him weeping. The only other time in my life I had known my dad to cry was when we had visited the USS Arizona so I knew something was very, very wrong. After a couple minutes my step mom picked up the phone and explained that my dad had melanoma that had spread to his brain. One the small area of his head that the hair had thinned, and the cancer had spread to his brain. He had just started radiation therapy. The cancer was extensive and while he had started the necessary therapy, I knew as a Registered Nurse, that it was not likely to be successful. The trip to Hawaii took on even deeper tones than it had already.

It was the following day that I took my trip to Barnes and Nobles. With all the intense feelings and memories I was having regarding my trip to Hawaii, the book "Stolen Valor" just seemed to be the right book at the right time. There was no way to separate the time I had spent in Hawaii from the controversies and feelings regarding the Vietnam War. For those who are not familiar with the book, it details repeatedly those people who claimed Vietnam experience who were never there. And not only that, but how many of those who claimed service that also claimed to have committed atrocities, who claimed they could no longer fit into American society because of it, that claimed they were drug addicts or drunks because of the non-existent time in service in the war that tore this country apart. The overall gist of the book is the demolishing of the myths that have been perpetuated by the media, and by those who became the vanguard of the anti-war movement. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to understand why the men that make up Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are willing to put their reputations on the line after 30 some years of silence, in order to keep John Kerry from becoming the Commander in Chief of the United States. Find the section on the Winter Soldier investigation and let it sink in what the man who seeks the Presidency of this country did to the Veterans of the Vietnam War. Not only to the Veterans of that war, but to every American who values not only the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy but also to every American who believes in truth. Not someone's version of truth, but the plain reality.

What is that reality? That John Kerry was not simply a man who volunteered for military duty and spent 4 months in active combat in Vietnam. He is also a man who came home from that war determined to protest it. Certainly a right, nay even an obligation of an American who feels strongly that his/her government is in the wrong. Yet John Kerry did not simply protest the Vietnam War, he did not simply protest that he felt his govenment was wrong. In his zeal to not only protest, but to make a name for himself he took a broad brush and painted the soldiers, sailors and marines of that war as akin to the army of Ghengis Khan. A name that has the same horror echo as does Hitler. He, with his then band of brothers, the Vietnam Veterans against the War, helped tar every single member of the military as baby killers, war criminals unable to live with themselves or others because of the horrid memories of what they did in Vietnam. It is necessary to understand that John Kerry was not a minor figure in the anti-war movement. He was not one of those who marched along quietly and then went home.

John Kerry did not simply help bring closure to the Vietnam War. As a major figure in the anti-war movement he was not content to smear the character of the military man that had been in Vietnam. No, he also managed to paint the United States military as an evil entity, something many in the country still fervently believe. In a time that terrorism as evil as Nazi Germany threatens this country, this is not the man who should ever, ever be allowed to lead the military he has denigrated for over thirty years.

It has been over four years since I read "Stolen Valor". I didn't need the Swift Boat Vets to tell me all about John Kerry, I already knew. What has surprised me is that it has taken someone this long to get the story out. From the time he announced his bid for President I have waited for someone to challenge him not so much on his time in Vietnam, but what he did afterwards. Perhaps it should not have surprised me, knowing from the book that Dan Rather once had a story on Vets who lived in the Pacific Northwest, out in the forests there "off the land" as they say, who claimed they did this because their experience in Vietnam had made them unable to live a normal life. The problem with the story is that some of the men who claimed this WERE NEVER IN VIETNAM. Yet a major journalist and a major network NEVER BOTHERED TO FIND THAT OUT. Nor was the public that watched that program ever told by those who ran the program that it was essentially false. So much for truthful journalism. Knowing this, the way the mainstream media has gone after the Swift Boat Vets should not raise any eyebrows. Mainstream can barely afford the truth to come out any more than John Kerry can. For if it truly does, then that media has much to answer for regarding the way they have swallowed hook, line and sinker the myths and distortions of not only the Vietnam Vet, but the entire way they have slanted their reporting for over thirty years.

My family has been heavily military for years. Not only my dad, who was a flight engineer on a P3-Orion and later an instructor. His brother spent 20 years in the Navy, his uncle retired from the Air Force after having initially enlisted in the Army Air Corp in WWII. My mom's two brothers spent each spent 4 years in the Navy. I have 4 uncles, now deceased, who fought in WWII, one who came out of the Battle of the Bulge wearing one sock and his dog tags . While John Kerry was protesting the Vietnam War my cousin was losing part of a lung and part of his intestines there. My family's military service goes back to the Revolutionary War to Capt. James Crabtree who was given his commission by Thomas Jefferson while he was Gov.of Virginia. Yes, I am very proud of my family and their contributions to this country. I love this country, and revere the founders who not only crafted the documents that this country stands on, but who were willing to put their very lives on the line to do so. Regardless of rather I think Bush is right, wrong or indifferent I would not vote for John Kerry if he were the only man on the ticket.

While John Kerry vows to work with our "allies" and the useless UN, I recall the words of George Washington.

'Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.
George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

The words of Alexander Hamilton.

Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.
Alexander Hamilton, Pacificus, No. 6, July 17, 1793

While John Kerry has consistently voted against the military I remember the words of our founders.

It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.
James Madison, letter to the Dey of Algiers, August, 1816

It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.
Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

If we desire to insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.
George Washington, Annual Message, December 1793

We must never forget the wisdom of our founding fathers. And we must never put someone in the seat of Commander in Chief who willinglydisregards the words of those founders. I believe that John Kerry not only does this, he also represents a party that since the turbulent times of Vietnam has shunned the wisdom of those who gave us the country that they seek to lead.

This blog is intended to give voice to the millions that live between each of our seaboards that the mainstream media credits with little intelligence. The people who the mainstream media roll their eyes at because we believe in God, country and family. Who believe in black and white morality, not moral equivalency. We are here, we will no longer be silent while a liberal agenda is forced down our throats. The internet has given us the ability to ferret out the information and to share that information. We don't want backdoor socialism, we don't want multicultural masquerading as tolerance. And we will challenge the mainstream media to be truthful.

John Kerry has brought us back to 1968. How many of us really want to be there again?



Blogger Warren said...


Thank you for your insightful and articulate read on Mr. Kerry. You've given voice to things I've long believed and I will direct skeptics to your site.

5:44 AM  
Blogger redcrabtree said...

Thank you Warren.

8:41 AM  

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