And, you know, words — I have to tell you, my friend, I’ve been, quote, attacked before by people using real bullets, not words, and I am not going to be intimidated.
Yeah, I remember. You suffered a hangnail, a scratch, and a small bruise from the assaults, as I recall.
Kerry sustained a very minor wound to his arm, probably caused by debris from his own boat’s salvoes. The scratch earned him his first Purple Heart, a medal awarded for those wounded in combat. Actually there’s no evidence that anyone had fired back, or that Kerry had been in combat, as becomes obvious when we read an entry from his diary about a subsequent excursion, written on December 11, 1968, nine days after the incident that got Kerry his medal. “A cocky air of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel, because we hadn’t been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven’t been shot at are allowed to be cocky.”
He received two more Purple Hearts, both for relatively minor wounds. Indeed Kerry never missed a day of duty for any of the medal-earning wounds.