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September 02, 2004

Lambert's Bronze Star, Like Kerry's, for Pulling Up a Man Overboard

I asked in an earlier post why, when four people were pulled out of the river in 1969, only John Kerry got a Bronze Star for pulling someone out. Well, I was wrong. Someone else did. Robert Lambert *did* get a Bronze Star for pulling Larry Thurlow out....

...Retired Chief Petty Officer Robert E. Lambert, of Eagle Point, Ore., got a Bronze Star for pulling his boat commander -- Lt. Larry Thurlow -- out of the Bay Hap River on March 13, 1969. Thurlow had jumped onto another swift boat to aid sailors wounded by a mine explosion but fell off when the out-of-control boat ran aground.

I haven't seen the citation, but this Bronze Star sounds just as dubious as Kerry's. If Kerry was the one who wrote up the reports, though, it makes sense that he'd want to square Lambert (and Thurlow, who got a somewhat better Bronze Star-- for jumping into the damaged boat, giving first aid to the injured men on it, steering the out-of-control boat, etc.)

Posted by erasmuse at September 2, 2004 11:09 PM

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The claim that Kerry wrote the reports of his own medals and of other medals, most notably Thurlow's and Lambert's, was debunked long ago. There is no evidence that supports it and, in Lambert's case, there were details that Kerry could not have known, as he was too far away.

In any case, commenting negatively on a medal report that you haven't even read strikes me as the height of arrogance.

Posted by: PaulB at September 9, 2004 03:42 PM

The possibility that Kerry wrote the reports has never been ruled out. Rather, unless you know something I don't, the report is unsigned and the Kerry camp isn't saying who wrote it, if not Kerry.

If we had access to the files that Kerry is refusing to release, maybe we'd find out.

That Lambert was too far away is irrelevant. The action report was written by one person, but no one person saw everything. Rather, whoever wrote it must have asked people what happened, added his own observations, and written it up.

I'd like to read Lambert's Bronze Star citation, for background, though nothing I've said depends on me having read it. I'd like to see if anything I've said is contradicted by it. Is anything?

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen at September 9, 2004 10:22 PM

Another thought: isn't it nice that we're getting to the point where someone says it's arrogant to comment on a subject in a casual weblog entry when you've only read newspaper reports, not the primary sources! Pretty soon the newspapers, magazines, and pundits will have to come up to that standard too, as people ask why bloggers document their points so carefully and the pro's don't.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen at September 9, 2004 10:27 PM

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