REPORTING FOR DUTY: [ archive ]

29 Jan

AUTHORS NOTE: Sometimes pulling an old piece from the shelf and blowing the gathered dust off it is sad. Sometimes lessons have not been learned. It wasnt that long ago that John Kerry ran for President. The dying generation of WWII veterans were up in arms against his nomination. What a difference a few generations make. Thank you Senator Inhofe and Cornyn for your votes against Senator Kerry being confirmed as Secretary of State. This leopard showed his spots as did his wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry of the Tides Foundation, a supporter of many anti-Israel protest groups. Am Yisroel Chai. The Nation of Israel lives 

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I am told that in the wee hours of the morning the Vietnam Wall weeps. Some say it is dew fallen on chilled rock. Others say it is condensation streaming its face. Returned Vietnam vets publicly shamed with calls of “baby killer”, “murderer,” tell me these are tears fallen from dead brothers, names only, memorialized on to stone. I am told, some vets come to embrace the wall when the rest of the world sleeps. Unable to leave Vietnam behind, they stand in comfort with deceased brothers, while infamous anti-war protesters moved forward.

Hanoi Jane went corporate after leading legions of American women into thinking her workout tapes would defeat their battle against bulge. Years later, she admitted surgeries created the look she marketed misleading women into believing hours of sweating, grunting and gyrating with her tapes would shed their inches to accomplish her lean appearance. John Kerry’s first wife, Philadelphia heiress Julia Thorne, mother of his two daughters moved beyond his effort to annul their marriage before his current alliance to wife Theresa Heinz Kerry, inheritor of her deceased husband’s fortune. The home movies Kerry had unnamed photographers shoot during his four month tour of duty in Vietnam parlayed into spring boarding his political career. “If he had left Vietnam out of his presidential run, we wouldn’t be here,” said Captain Charles Plumly, a Swiftee gathered to present war stories differing from Kerry’s. “He brought his Vietnam war record into his campaign. We didn’t.” 

Swift Boat veteran Richard O’Mara says “We came home to a country filled with people screaming at us for a war we were called into duty for. He could have run for the Presidency based upon his twenty odd years of political experience. We wouldn’t be here today. He could have left well enough alone. He called us murderers.”

This is the reason Swift Boat Veterans For Truth are, today, banded together, presenting their recollections of the same incidents Kerry is using to define his qualifying for being called President.

O’Mara, coy about his age, is truthful discussing he is three months out of a marriage. No children. “How could I,” he said, “Agent Orange.” I understood. On Memorial Day, I had photographed against the Wall, a remembrance picture of a deformed baby born with effects from Agent Orange. Nothing more needed to be said to me. I understood O’Mara’s words albeit differently. A childhood friend of mine, bruised by life, fifty and fatherless has said to me on several occasions, “But you have sons.” O’Mara will not. O’Mara’s award for having fought a full tour in Vietnam is when he dies, his name goes with him. Presidential candidate Kerry’s stint in Vietnam, not long enough to worry about exposure to Agent Orange, earned him two daughters, the ability for son-in-laws, grandchildren and campaign stories about resuscitating a drowning hamster.

Talking heads, who have not read O’Neills’s book “Unfit For Command” or met in person with the Swiftees, should not be criticizing Swift Boat Veterans debating Kerry’s making his war record core to his presidential bid. While pundits are debating use of soft money to pay for ads presenting an alternative point of view to occurrences overseas, I think what should be at issue is candidate Kerry’s attempt to limit the first Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech of men who disagree with him. Also at issue is a system awarding, for injuries, medals that end up in pawnshops, garage sales or as props for Presidential bids.

With Swift Boat veterans divided on either side of Kerry using his war record as a qualification for Oval Office, all can agree there is one platform that will divert the public away from Swiftees towards voting a qualified candidate into office. A promise that, Memorial Day 2005, the President will stop his cavalcade enroute back from Arlington to the White House at the Vietnam Memorial long enough to pay respect to a generation of aging heroes waiting to hear words expressed to World War II, World War I and Iraqi veterans “Thank you for serving our country,” from the candidate truly “reporting for duty.”

Maybe then tears will cease falling from the Wall.

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One Response to “REPORTING FOR DUTY: [ archive ]”

  1. schoultz November 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    I found your blog in a websearch for my old friend Rich O’Mara. If you have contact with him, please pass on that his old friend from Monterey, SEAL Officer Bob Schoultz is trying to reach him to put him in touch with some current and former boat guys. I am the President of Old Frogs and SEALs, and am assisting with a reunion of boat-guys in San Diego. Please have Rich contact me at schoultz@sandiego.edu. Thanks Bob

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