Posted 05-01-2004 at 15:48:43
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Dear Senator Kerry:
Since it has become clear that you will probably be the Democratic nominee for President, I have spent a great deal of time researching your war record and your record as a professional politician. The reason is simple, you aspire to be the Commander in Chief who would lead my sons and their fellow soldiers in time of war. I simply wanted to know if you possess the necessary qualifications to be trusted in that respect.
You see, I belong to a family of proud U.S. veterans. I was a Captain in the Army Reserve, my father was a decorated Lieutenant in World War II; and I have four sons who have either served, or are currently serving in the military. The oldest is an Army Lieutenant still on active duty in Afghanistan after already being honored for his service in Iraq. The youngest is an E-4 with the military police. His National Guard unit just finished their second tour of active duty, including six months in Guantanamo Bay. My two other sons have served in the national guard and the navy.
In looking at your record I found myself comparing it not only to that of my father and my sons, but to the people they served with. My father served with the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion in Europe. They landed on Utah Beach and fought for 317 straight days including the Cherbourg Peninsula, Aachen, the Hurtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge. You earned a Silver Star in Vietnam for chasing down and finishing off a wounded and retreating enemy soldier. My father won a Bronze Star for single handedly charging and knocking out a German machine gun nest that had his men pinned down. You received three purple hearts for what appears to be three minor scratches. In fact you only missed a combined total of two days of duty for these wounds. The men of my father's unit, the 87th, had to be admonished by their commanding officer because: "It has been brought to our attention that some men are covering up wounds and refusing medical attention for fear of being evacuated and permanently separated from this organization..." It was also a common problem for seriously wounded soldiers to go AWOL from hospitals in order to rejoin their units. You used your three purple hearts to leave Vietnam early.
My oldest boy came home from Iraq with numerous commendations and then proceeded to volunteer to go to Afghanistan and from there back to Iraq again. My sons and father have never had anything but the highest regard and respect for their fellow soldiers. Yet, you came home to publicly charge your fellow fighting men with being war criminals and to urge their defeat by the enemy. You even wrote a book that had a cover which mocked the heroism of the U.S. Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. Our current crop of soldiers has a philosophy that no one gets left behind; and they have practiced that from Somalia to the battlefields of the Middle East. Yet as chairman of a Senate committee looking into allegations that many of your fellow servicemen had been left behind as prisoners in Vietnam, you chose to defend the brutal Vietnamese regime. You even went so far as to refer to the families of the POWs and MIAs as Professional malcontents, conspiracy mongers, con artists, and dime-store Rambos.
As a Senator you voted against the 1991 Gulf War, and have repeatedly voted against funds to supply our troops with the best equipment, and against money to improve our intelligence capability. I find this particularly ironic since as a Presidential candidate you are highly critical of our pre-war intelligence in Iraq. However, you did vote to authorize the President to go to war, but have since proceeded to do everything you can to undermine the efforts of our government and our troops to win. Is this what our fighting men and women can expect of you if you are their Commander in Chief? Will you gladly send them to war, only to then aid the enemy by undermining the morale of our troops and cutting off the weapons they need to win?
Our country is at war Senator, and as has been the case in every war since the American Revolution, a member of my family is serving their country during the war. Now you want me to trust you to lead my sons in this fight.
Sorry Senator, but when I compare your record to those who have fought and died for this nation, and are currently fighting and dying, the answer is not just no, but Hell No!
Michael Connelly February 14, 2004 Dallas, Texas