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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 27, 2004 10:47 AM

An officer who served with John Kerry in Vietnam said Thursday in his first on-the-record interview about the Swift boat controversy that John Kerry’s first Purple Heart was awarded for self-inflicted wounds.

Retired Rear Adm. William L. Schachte Jr. told columnist Bob Novak that Kerry wasn’t wounded by hostile fire and wasn’t even under fire by the enemy. Rather, he “nicked himself with a M-79 (grenade launcher).”

Acocrding to Novak, Schachte “was in command of the small Boston whaler or skimmer, with Kerry aboard in his first combat mission in the Vietnam War.”

If Schachte is telling the truth, it would appear that Kerry should not have been given the Purple Heart for the incident in question. As Andy Soltis notes in the New York Post, “To win a Purple Heart, military personnel must have a wound that requires medical treatment, and it must have been received during the course of an engagement with the enemy, even if the wound was not a result of hostile fire.”

Posted in: John Kerry

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