I soldier in Iraq told me this:
I think the majority of people over here will vote for Bush. I could be wrong, but that is the impression that I get. Even if Kerry’s service has been proven, he used to hang out and participate in events with “Hanoi Jane.”
So, let me get this straight: George Bush uses his father’s connections to avoid service in Vietnam, and then subsequently fails to meet all of his National Guard requirements because, well, he had other things to do.
John Kerry, on the other hand, volunteered to go to Vietnam. He served two tours, saved lives, took life, and carries around shrapnel in his body to this day as a reminder of the experience.
You want to vote against Kerry because his Iraq position is all twisted into knots? Okay. You want to vote for Bush because you think he’s clearer and more resolute when it comes to fighting terrorism? Good for you.
But to vote against someone who served honorably because he was seen at the same event as Jane Fonda? And to instead vote for someone who avoided service altogether and partied hard while some poor kid was sent to Vietnam in his place? Well, that’s just the essence of stupidity. I sure hope he’s wrong about “Hanoi Jane” being the rationale against Kerry, because I want to believe most soldiers — and indeed, most Americans — are smarter than that.
Kerry served 3 months of his tour, not 2 tours. He came home early on a little-known technicality that a sailor with 3 purple hearts could return home. Kerry was well aware of this rule and he applied for his return. 2 of his awards were dubious.
Kerry wasn’t just seen at an event with Hanoi Jane. He was a cofounder of Viet Nam Vets against the war and was as culpable as she was in the politics that kept the NV alive despite their military setbacks. They knew that as long as they could win the media war in the US they had a chance and the demoralizing tactics employed by Hanoi Jane and John caused the deaths of many American soldiers.
The problem with your claim here is that it is utterly unproven that Bush used his father’s connections to get into the National Guard, and much reason to doubt it–and, more importantly, most people in the service are IN the National Guard and don’t take too kindly to having those in their ranks considered cowards or finks or traitors. So even if it were true that he used family connections (utterly unproven) it’s still honorable service in most people’s eyes.
Note that there really is no reason to believe it; those making the claim have partisan axes to grind, and we know now that there was no waiting list to get into the Air National Guard in the early 1970s if you had a college degree and were willing to sign on as a fighter pilot. But even still, there’s almost no one with military experience who will tell you that that would offend them even a tenth as much as what Kerry did when he came back from Viet Nam.
Sorry man, they just don’t compare.
Kerry will never get much of the military vote. It’s inconceivable. The only question is whether that matters or not.