Major General Patrick Brady won the Congressional Medal of Honor in
Vietnam as a medevac, or "dustoff" pilot. His citation is at
www.medalofhonor.com/PatrickBrady.htm. Quite a story.
This was recieved via e-mail from a close friend of the family.
We seldom hear from General Brady... I had the privilege of meeting him
when he was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco; he's a great guy, and
as down-home as they come.
Below is the guest op-ed he submitted to a veteran's newsletter in
Missouri. The article is at members.aol.com/bear317/nwvets1a.htm.
The next-to-last paragraph is the most telling and one that most of us can
relate to. If Kerry was indeed so "tight" with his crew, he surely would
not have left them at the 4 month mark.
America has no kings or queens but we do have nobility - our nobility is
called Veterans. That nobility is responsible for the bounty that is America
but tragically their influence has faded in recent years and the values
they died for are under attack. But this election year they are back in demand
and some have said the veteran vote could decide this election. It may
have put Bush in the White House. With this in mind, John Kerry is seldom seen
with out his band of brothers and constantly plays the "hero" card as a
cornerstone of his bid for president, indeed, as the definition of who he
is. Kerry defines patriotism as "keeping faith with those who wear the
uniform of this country." He also brags that he "defended this country as a
young man." If Missouri is the show me state, Veterans are the show me
voters - we are not much for words, deeds are our stock in trade. Lets
look at Kerry's deeds.
Before Kerry played his "hero" card, he played the atrocity card. When
Kerry came back from Vietnam he joined with Jane Fonda and in 1971 denounced
"those who wear the uniform" as terrorist-like rapists and assassins who
"cut off heads, taped wires ... to human genitals and turned up the power,
cut off limbs, shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for
fun, poisoned food stocks" ... and said he "committed the same kinds of
atrocities as thousands of others." He made these charges under oath.
Kerry says today that he would have framed some of what he said in 1971
differently. But he does not say he lied, which he did, nor does he
apologize. How can one properly frame the denunciations of ones comrades
in arms as modern day Genghis Khans?
The very day that Kerry was calling Vietnam veterans' war criminals the
family of one of those "war criminals", Michael Blanchfield, was
posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor for Michael who had thrown
himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. How different from Kerry
was the way this man kept faith with those who wore the uniform with him. How
different from Kerry was the manner Michael defended his country.
He could have attacked the war without attacking the warrior. He could
have questioned policy without supporting the communists' claim that our
soldiers were war criminals. He could have kept faith with those who wore the
uniform with him. But he did not and he should be held accountable.
By every measure, the Vietnam veteran has been an exceptional citizen; but
there is one disturbing statistic -- their suicide rate. In the first 5
years after discharge the rate was 1.7 times higher than non-veterans.
After 5 years it was less. This may have been due to the treatment the Vietnam
veteran received from the media - and the anti war movement led by Kerry
in the early years after the war. Living with the scars of war is difficult,
for some unbearable, but all veterans suffer. The Vietnam veteran suffered
physically as much, perhaps more than any veteran of the past century, but
no veteran has suffered the mental agony of that veteran.
What Kerry/Fonda and the media elite did to the Vietnam veteran and his
family is deplorable. They opened a gash in his psyche and then rubbed
salt in it. Not just the living but also those who died and their families who
questioned if a loved one is a war criminal. And the POWs, some who
believed the Kerry/Fonda cartel extended the war, increased their torture and
filled more body bags. Whether Kerry and Fonda have blood on their hands is
debatable but there is no doubt they have salt on them.
Kerry's "hero" card is based on medals he received in Vietnam and is much
celebrated, and unchallenged, by the mainstream media. I know many Medal
of Honor recipients who have received less publicity for their medal than
Kerry has for his. But medals don't make a hero. It is how one uses medals that
make a hero. Every honest soldier knows that medals are a function of
circumstance, even happenstance, but most of all the support of ones
I was awarded the Medal of Honor; but my fellow soldiers who supported me
in the actions and took the time to write it up earned it. I wear it for
them, they own my medals. And every Medal of Honor recipient and hero I know
believes as I do. Medals should be a sign of patriotism, a symbol of
sacrifice, support and defense of a great nation. The highest form of
patriotism is service to our youth; heroes also wear their medal for them
to signal the importance of courage. Heroes do not use their medals for
personal political gain. As I said they are not theirs to use.
Senator Kerry threw his medals away (or ribbons, they are symbolically the
same), a political act very difficult for any veteran to understand. He
must have been proud of them for he wore them even on his fatigues, in
violation of all regulations. But they were not his. They belonged to those who he
served. By that act he symbolically denounced his fellow veterans --
again. Does one keep faith with those who wear the uniform by throwing away their
But perhaps most telling of his leadership qualities is his use of his
Purple hearts to abandon his band of brothers, his command, on a
technicality. Kerry may be the only person in history who took advantage
of a Navy regulation that allowed him to leave his command after 4 months for
3 purple hearts none of which ever caused him to miss a day of duty. In my
experience men fought to stay with their band of brothers, especially
commanders. All the commanders I know would get out of a hospital bed to
be with their men. Some one had to take his place; someone probably less
experienced who would have to learn the ropes. That put his command more
at risk than if he stayed. It is not hard to understand why those who stayed
in combat for the full year are upset with Kerry.
Another small thread in Kerry's campaign is unraveling.
Every officer I know who served in Vietnam says the same thing.
A officer does NOT abandon his men before his time is up.
A officer does NOT put himself in for Purple Hearts.
A officer does NOT put himself in for decorations.
As far as I can see, Kerry is a grandstanding chickenshit who bugged out the first chance he got… and people want him for President!
Does this message get out to those that need to read it?
I have a couple libs on my e-mail distro.
BRADY, PATRICK HENRY
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, Medical Service Corps, 54th Medical Detachment, 67th Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade.
Place and date: Near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, 6 January 1968.
Entered service at: Seattle, Wash.
Born: 1 October 1936, Philip, S. Dak.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, Maj. Brady distinguished himself while serving in the Republic of Vietnam commanding a UH-1H ambulance helicopter, volunteered to rescue wounded men from a site in enemy held territory which was reported to be heavily defended and to be blanketed by fog.
To reach the site he descended through heavy fog and smoke and hovered slowly along a valley trail, turning his ship sideward to blow away the fog with the backwash from his rotor blades.
Despite the unchallenged, close-range enemy fire, he found the dangerously small site, where he successfully landed and evacuated 2 badly wounded South Vietnamese soldiers.
He was then called to another area completely covered by dense fog where American casualties lay only 50 meters from the enemy.
Two aircraft had previously been shot down and others had made unsuccessful attempts to reach this site earlier in the day.
With unmatched skill and extraordinary courage, Maj. Brady made 4 flights to this embattled landing zone and successfully rescued all the wounded.
On his third mission of the day Maj. Brady once again landed at a site surrounded by the enemy.
The friendly ground force, pinned down by enemy fire, had been unable to reach and secure the landing zone.
Although his aircraft had been badly damaged and his controls partially shot away during his initial entry into this area, he returned minutes later and rescued the remaining injured.
Shortly thereafter, obtaining a replacement aircraft, Maj. Brady was requested to land in an enemy minefield where a platoon of American soldiers was trapped.
A mine detonated near his helicopter, wounding 2 crewmembers and damaging his ship.
In spite of this, he managed to fly 6 severely injured patients to medical aid.
Throughout that day Maj. Brady utilized 3 helicopters to evacuate a total of 51 seriously wounded men, many of whom would have perished without prompt medical treatment.
Maj. Brady's bravery was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
An amazing man, to be sure.
Talk about a good man. Perhaps I can meet him someday?
What's sad is there are countless other acts of bravery and courage
that noone will ever know of.
That is one of the most saddest things I can think of.