John Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry [1995 – present, widow of Sen. John Heinz III, R-PA], a half billionaire, whom he married even though she was five years older than him – a practice which, while not unheard of, is certainly highly uncommon for a man who was in his 50s. And before that, he was married to his first wife, Julia Thorne [1970 – 1988, divorced/annulled], who, according to press reports, had a similarly huge fortune of over $100 million.
THE NAVAL WAR HERO
Attempting to bolster their accusations that Kerry misrepresented slight injuries to win Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, the [Viet Nam Veterans for Truth] cite a March 13, 1969, incident for which the young lieutenant was decorated.
Two injuries – a small bruise on his right arm and a minor injury to his buttocks – won Kerry his Third Purple Heart and a trip home. However, the vets say, the wound to his buttocks was self-inflicted and should never have received Purple Heart consideration.
While Kerry claims the injury came from shrapnel from an underwater mine, Larry Thurlow, an officer on shore with Kerry that day, insists the wound was the result of Kerry’s decision to throw a concussion grenade into a rice pile. The “shrapnel,” he says, was actually rice pellets.
Sworn statements of those present say there was no hostile fire involved in this incident for which Kerry received his third Purple Heart and the coveted Bronze Star.
Once again, the vets insist there was no hostile fire involved, and, again, they say, Kerry’s very minor wound was self-inflicted.
According to the vets’ account, Kerry, Navy Lt. William Schachte, and an enlisted man were on a whaler. “Seeing movement from an unknown source, the sailors opened fire on the movement,” the letter says. “There was no hostile fire. When Kerry’s rifle jammed, he picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and fired a grenade at a nearby object. This sprayed the boat with shrapnel from Kerry’s own grenade, a tiny piece of which embedded in Kerry’s arm.” Upon examining Kerry’s injury, Dr. Lewis Letson says he asked Kerry why he was there. Kerry reportedly told him he had been wounded by hostile fire. Letson removed the tiny fragment with tweezers and placed a Band-Aid over the scratch.
The next morning, Kerry went to see Division Commander Grant Hibbard to ask for the Purple Heart.
THE WAR PROTESTER
On the campaign trail , presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry regularly boasts about his Vietnam War combat experience, which earned him three purple hearts, plus the silver and bronze stars.
But the Massachusetts Democrat doesn't much discuss what he did after returning home, when he became a much-celebrated organizer for one of America's most radical anti-war groups and rubbed shoulders with the likes of 'Hanoi' Jane Fonda and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
As a rising star with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Kerry attended a February 1971 seminar bankrolled by Fonda, who was the group's most prominent booster. Watching 125 self-proclaimed Vietnam veterans testify at a Detroit Howard Johnson's about atrocities committed by U.S. forces, the man who would be president later said he found the accounts shocking and irrefutable…
Even the most famous POW of all, Sen. John McCain, later revealed that his North Vietnamese captors used reports about the Kerry-led protest to taunt him and his fellow prisoners.
A few years later the ambitious Democrat found that his book documenting the celebrated peace protest had become something of a political liability.
"Suddenly, copies of ["The New Soldier"] became unavailable and even disappeared from libraries," one old-time Massachusetts hand told The New American Magazine in May.
THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service. [9/2/2003 in South Carolina as he kicks off his campaign for the White House]
In September 2003, Kerry implied that voting against wartime funding bills was equivalent to abandoning the troops.
"I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running," he said.
Then, in October 2003, a year after voting to support the use of force in Iraq, Kerry voted against an $87 billion supplemental funding bill for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He did support an alternative bill that funded the $87 billion by cutting some of President Bush's tax cuts.
But when it was apparent the alternative bill would not pass, he decided to go on record as not supporting the legislation to fund soldiers.
Kerry complicated matters with his now infamous words, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
On Wednesday, he acknowledged that his explanation of his Iraq war votes was "one of those inarticulate moments."
'Reporting for duty - DNC, 2004'
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq." [11/1/2006 to students in California]