Claim: A wounded Vietnam veteran bought a full-page ad in the Army Times.
Example: [Lehtinen, 2004]
In 1971, I awakened after three days of unconsciousness aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam. I could not see, my jaws were wired shut, and my left cheekbone was missing, a gaping hole in its place.
Later, while still in that condition at St Albans Naval Hospital, one of my earliest recollections was hearing of John Kerry's testimony before Congress. I remember lying there, in disbelief, as I learned how Kerry told the world that I served in an Army reminiscent of Genghis Khan's; that officers like me routinely let their men plunder villages and rape villagers at will; that "war crimes" committed in Vietnam by my fellow soldiers "were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."
Then Kerry went to Paris, meeting with the North Vietnamese enemy officials, all while our soldiers still fought in the field. The pain and disbelief I felt listening to his words went deeper than the pain I felt from the enemy fire which seriously wounded my face.
Eighteen months later I was discharged from the hospital, the wounds inflicted by the enemy fully healed. But more than
Those wounds go to the heart and soul. Those wounds never go away. Today, my son is a Marine Corps weapons officer, flying the
Yet, John Kerry shamelessly drapes himself in the imagery of Vietnam, military service and the support of veterans, devoid of any media scrutiny. Meanwhile, the criticism and disapproval of Kerry by scores of veterans continues to fall on deaf ears. Worse yet, any legitimate criticism of Kerry's post-war record is discredited as a "personal" attack, or an attack against his service. John Kerry is quick to surround himself with a handful of veterans and claims overwhelming support from the veteran community. He ignores, however, the wounds he inflicted on millions of veterans, and he refuses to sign a waiver to release his military personal records and medical records. This is the portrait of a man who has failed to comes to terms with his treacherous past.
I, Dexter Lehtinen, paid for this ad personally, without any connection to other individuals or groups, because I want the public to know what John Kerry did to our Vietnam veterans.
Origins: The letter quoted above was written by Dexter Lehtinen of Miami, Florida, a Vietnam veteran who was wounded during a mission in Laos.
Regards, Tobias Naegele
That ad appeared in the Sept. 6 editions of Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, on
Editor in Chief
Army Times Publishing Co.
|Lehtinen for Mayor (Miami New Times)|
Last updated: 19 October 2004