John Kerry's other salute
Google says this appeared on 3 or 4 sites I'd never heard of before, but it doesn't seem to have been covered on any of the MilBlogs and I think the time has come:
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment,101st Airborne Division Vietnam 65-66
It should come as no surprise that the liberal media has ignored the Kerry incident at the Vietnam Memorial, where the presidential hopeful's immature and disrespectful behavior demonstrates once again that he is unfit to be the commander in chief of a nation at war. To be sure, there are numerous puff pieces by liberal reporters oohing and aahing about the Wall being a "touchstone" for Kerry. A less charitable assessment might be that it served more as a soapbox.
This Memorial Day grandstanding from the man who rebuked the very concept of war memorials:
"We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans' Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the greater glory of the United States. We will not accept the rhetoric. We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars-in fact, we will find it hard to join anything at all and when we do we will demand relevancy such as other organizations have recently been unable to provide. We will not take solace from the creation of monuments or the naming of parks after a select few of the thousands of dead Americans and Vietnamese. We will not uphold traditions, which decorously memorialize that which was base and grim."
- John F. Kerry "The New Soldier"
In truth, I trembled with anger when I read the above quote this morning. We can safely assume from his own words that John Kerry was seeking something other than solace at the Wall; perhaps another photo opportunity to remind voters that he served in Vietnam? What crass hypocrisy for the man who did more to tarnish the reputations of those names on that wall than any other to now callously use it as a mere backdrop for his pious pronouncements.
Most of us were able to return and, by words and deeds, refute the criminal claims Kerry and Fonda and their pseudo-soldiers heaped upon us. But those, those whose names are etched in that long black stone, those brave warriors who gave all, they had no way to defend their honor. John Kerry's very presence at that memorial constitutes a desecration, an affront he further compounded with his adolescent behavior when he gave the finger to Ted Sampley, one of the leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry.
Certainly, Kerry has reason to dislike Sampley; but Sampley merely reacted to Kerry's presence at the Wall as many veterans would: he told him he didn't belong there. Kerry's juvenile response was to give Sampley the finger. For one Vietnam Vet to be giving another the finger on such hallowed ground is disturbing. For the offending veteran to be one who aspires to be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is disgraceful beyond belief.
Hear me Brothers: that middle finger conveyed far more meaning than a flash of anger at Ted Sampley. That finger is John Kerry's salute to all of us who served in Vietnam. Combine his words from his book and his behavior at our most sacred site and it speaks volumes as to what this charlatan really thinks of us and our memorial. It also speaks volumes as to his lack of maturity, his poor judgment and, ultimately, his unfitness to lead.
Mr. Kerry, I return your salute, Sir: FJK!