Kerry vs SBV’s

The Washington Post (free registration required) has a good piece on Kerry vs. the Swift Boat Vets, and who is saying what. They have taken a pretty good neutral stance in this issue, and it is well worth the read.

I do take issue with this part:

When Kerry signed up to command a Swift boat in the summer of 1968, he was inspired by the example of his hero, John F. Kennedy, who had commanded the PT-109 patrol boat in the Pacific in World War II. But Kerry had little expectation of seeing serious action. At the time the Swift boats — or PCFs (patrol craft fast), in Navy jargon — were largely restricted to coastal patrols. “I didn’t really want to get involved in the war,” Kerry wrote in a book of war reminiscences published in 1986.

It is a nice sentiment, but, in this case, they did not do their homework. Kerry had a low draft number, and their was a good chance he would be drafted. He applied for a deferment to study in Paris (imagine that!), and was denied. So he joined the Navy. I do not blame him. The Vietnam War was becoming unpopular, and it ddn’t inspire men to serve in combat like WWII, among others. The Navy seemed to be a way to avoid front line combat.

I have to wonder about what the Navy thought about Kerry beaching his boat. Not the best use of a PCF. Especially as it is shown that the gunner couldn’t bring his .50 caliber guns to bear. Not the wisest thing to do.

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