Thanks for all the expert experience on the
ribbon/medal distinctions. The weight of opinion tracks with my
Infantry guy about the difficulty with replacing medals 30 years ago.
Like with so many other things, times have changed and they are
apparently now readily available online, etc. But such a replacement
option wouldn’t have been available to John Kerry in the early 1970s.
Some who have examined the documents the Kerry campaign has posted point
out that at least one medal certificate was signed by Secretary of the
Navy John Lehman, who of course served under President Reagan in the
early 1980s. Peculiar given that Kerry’s awards were granted 10 years
before. One of my correspondents reminds us of the bottom line:
I am the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star and other lesser awards.
The discussion on the medals issue is totally BS. The bottom line is that
when he thought it suited his purpose, Kerry claimed to have “gave back”
his medals in protest. When it suited his purpose, he showed them off.
The symbology of “giving medals back” or ribbons or anything else for that
matter back to the government is what is at issue here. He portrayed
himself as giving back the awards and that is the issue. He thought it
suited his purpose at the time. Now, it obviously doesn’t so he is
attempting to spin it or make it go away. He was a young man and we
sometimes do foolish things when we are young. Unfortunately, he will not
admit doing something foolish as a young man.
It would be a cold day in hell before I ever gave up any of my awards in a
symbolic fashion, however, I had my Silver Star framed with the certificate
and presented it to my parents as thanks for raising me. I hope it is the
only one I receive. lol.
Your infantry guy is correct about buying the ribbons, you can get them at
the clothing sales store and it is very hard to replace your medals. But,
the symbology of tossing them is the same no matter how much he tries to
deny it and that seems to get lost in trying to explain the episode to
folks without a military background. That is exactly what Kerry is hoping