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The 34-Year Old "Typo" By: Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 06, 2004

When Erika Holzer and I wrote "John Kerry's Mysterious Combat "V," published at Frontpagemag.com on August 20th, we said the following  (set off by the asterisks): 


The presence of the combat "V" with Kerry's Silver Star on his DD 214 raises two extremely disquieting questions.  How did the unauthorized "V" get there, and why has Kerry allowed it to remain?

The first question should not be taken lightly because we are talking about possible federal crimes. We are talking about the possibility of a forged official document. We are talking, as well, about Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, which states: 

[W]hoever, in any manner within the jurisdiction of the executive,
            legislative, or judicial branch of the United States, knowingly and
            willfully . . . makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the
            same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent
            statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
            more than 5 years or both.

Was the combat "V" added by a sloppy clerk or a yeoman's typo thirty years ago? Was someone pressured or persuaded to add it? If Kerry had nothing to do with the gratuitously added combat "V," why didn't he have his DD 214 corrected when he was separated from the Navy?

Which gives rise to the second disturbing question:  If Kerry was not a party to the unauthorized "V," why, for all these years, has he allowed his DD 214 to remain uncorrected and to repose on his website?

In light of the recent Swift Boat revelations and the cloud they have cast over Kerry's awards, one plausible answer is that this is yet another example of Kerry's multiple, and increasingly transparent, lies about his alleged heroics in Vietnam.

Let's hope it won't take a controversial TV spot to spark a mainstream media investigation of how candidate Kerry received an unearned "V" for valor.



Well, it almost did.

Despite substantial efforts by the folks at FrontPage Magazine, and our own our efforts to get the word out, it has been very difficult to crack through the mainstream media's indifference and even its dishonesty.

That said, however, Fox News just reported the story on how the Navy is now investigating Kerry's medals, including his Silver Star's Combat "V"  (and, probably, the puzzling three citations).

The Kerry campaign's response to the Navy's investigation has put their candidate in a box: predictably, "it's a typo," they say.

Oddly, a "typo" exaggerating the record of a man now known for his exaggerations (e.g., Cambodia, wounds, rescues, Purple Hearts etc.)

But assuming arguendo (as we lawyers say, "for the sake of argument") that it really was a typo, Kerry is now impaled on one horn of his inescapable dilemma.

As we wrote in our Frontpage article quoted above: "If Kerry was not a party to the unauthorized "V," why, for all these years, has he allowed his DD 214 to remain uncorrected and to repose on his website?" 


Why, indeed?

And when a few years ago Kerry corrected his DD 214 with a DD 215, to add even more questionable medals, did he not correct the false Combat "V" on his Silver Star?

Well, perhaps he was distracted.

And maybe he was distracted back in 1970 when he signed his DD 214, and distracted again recently when he put his DD 214 on his website with the unauthorized, illegal, fake, and perhaps even criminal, Combat "V."


Henry Mark Holzer [www.henrymarkholzer.com; hank@henrymarkholzer.com], Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn Law School, specializes in federal appeals.  Erika Holzer [www.erikaholzer.com] is a lawyer and novelist.   They are co-authors of “Aid and Comfort”: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam.

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