AUGUST 31, 2004
Combat “V” Never Awarded with Silver Star
Former Navy Secretary Lehman Never Approved Citation
Additional Questions Remain Over Service Medal and Purple Hearts
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, today called on Senator John Kerry to remove the Silver Star citation from his political campaign Internet site pending a review of the granting of the award by the U.S. Navy.
On August 18, 2004, Judicial Watchfiled a complaint and request for investigation and final disposition of awards granted to Kerry with the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy, as well as the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy’s Board of Decorations and Medals. See the complaint at: http://www.JudicialWatch.org .
Senator Kerry’s DD Form 214 (a Defense Department form detailing a veteran’s service upon separation from the military) lists his “Silver Star with Combat ‘V’” and is posted on the Internet at JohnKerry.com. The Combat “V” device is never awarded with the nation’s third highest award for heroism.
Journalist Thomas Lipscomb, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times quoted a Navy spokesperson stating: “The Navy has never issued a ‘Combat V’ to anyone for a Silver Star.” Additionally, former Navy Secretary John Lehman was quoted with respect to the Silver Star citation as saying: “It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me.”
Furthermore, Senator Kerry’s records also reflect the award of a Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze stars. Military experts consulted byJudicial Watchbelieve Kerry’s brief tour of duty inVietnamwould have merited no more than 2 bronze stars on a Vietnam Service Medal. Many Swift Boat Veterans have questioned the circumstances of Kerry’s Purple Heart awards.
“There is something amiss in Senator Kerry’s service records. John Kerry should stop touting an award that has never been awarded to anyone in the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy needs to get on the ball and thoroughly scrub John Kerry’s service record by conducting a complete investigation of Kerry’s service,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And, of course, John Kerry may answer many of these questions by authorizing the release of all his service and medical records,” Fitton added.