Interview with Van Odell, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rosierita, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    South Carolina
    Van Odell, a gunners mate, served on PCF's 93, 35, and 10

    Judson Cox: Who are you, and who are the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?

    Van Odell: I served in the U.S. Navy from October 1966 to October 1972. I was assigned to Coastal Squadron 1 on Swift Boats as a Gunners Mate in Vietnam, on January 9, 1969. During the period January 9, 1969 through July 1969 I served in Coastal Division 11 at An Thoi, RVN. While assigned to Cos Div 11 I served on PCF's 93, 35, and 10. I was on many of the river patrols that John Kerry was also assigned. During this time I observed his behavior and some of the incidents that are in dispute. My battle station as Gunners mate was the twin 50-cal gun tub; this position was the highest point on a swift and allowed a 360 degree view of any action.

    The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a group of 254 swift boat veterans, 60 of whom served with John Kerry. We were by his side during the events for which he received his medals. We know the truth.

    JC: Why have you come forward now?

    VO: We came forward because Senator Kerry seeks to become the President of the United States of America. We believe that he is unfit to be president, and to make this man Commander in Chief would be demoralizing and dangerous for our military. Also, I now have a young grandson who means the world to me. He is young enough to think his grandfather is the greatest; without trying, I am his hero. It cuts me to the quick to think one day he would study the history of a president who served with me in Viet Nam and read the lies of atrocities committed by Swift Boat Sailors, the lies John Kerry told. What others think about me is nothing compared to what my grandson thinks about his grandfather.

    JC: What were your experiences with John Kerry in Vietnam?

    VO: During the month of March our crew was given a river patrol mission along with several other boat crews on the Bay Hop River. During our run in, and part of the run out of the river, we encountered no hostile fire.

    As we exited the river PCF 3 was the lead boat, we were second in the line, PCF 51 was astern of our craft. The other boats were lined up beside us including Kerry's boat PCF 94. During the transit we encountered a fishing weir (gill net) stretched across the middle of the river with just enough room on either side to allow a Swift boat to pass. We passed the fishing weir river left. As the 3 boat passed the weir on the narrowest part of the river it was hit by a mine, which lifted it completely out of the water. I immediately began firing my twin 50's towards river left to suppress any fire. I fired a couple of hundred rounds and realized we were not receiving any return fire from either bank. The other boats quit firing and we commenced rescue operations for the PCF 3 crew and boat. WE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY FIRE FROM EITHER BANK. Our boat picked up members of the disabled PCF-3. I continued to watch all the area for any VC activity and witnessed the majority of the events of the day.

    John Kerry received a Bronze Star for this incident, claiming that he saved Jim Rassman's life, at the risk of his own, while receiving hostile fire. That simply did not happen.

    JC: What is your opinion of Senator Kerry's fitness for the presidency given these experiences?

    VO: He is not fit to be Commander in Chief.

    JC: What are the most important facts the voters should know about Kerry's service in Vietnam?

    VO: He lied. He lied about his service. He lied before the Congress of the United States about atrocities committed by Vietnam Veterans. His "eye witness accounts" of rapes, murders and torture by Swift Boat sailors were fabricated, and tarred honorable veterans with a stain that still exists today. His entire career in politics and his campaign for the presidency is a lie.

    JC: How have the Kerry campaign and the Democratic Party reacted to your message?

    VO: They have lied about our service in Vietnam with Kerry; they lied about our political affiliations. And they are suing us to stop us from exercising our freedom of speech.

    JC: What is your party affiliation, and for whom will you vote for president?

    VO: I have no party affiliation; I have voted a split ticket all my voting life. In this election the only decision I have made so far is I will NOT support or vote for John Kerry.

    JC: Who should have more credibility, and why, the Swift Boat Vets for Truth or the band of brothers?

    VO: There are 7 men that stand behind Senators Kerry's stories. There are 254 Swift Boat Veterans that stand with us. Out of the 254 there are 60 who served directly with John Kerry and have first hand knowledge of his activities in Vietnam and they include Steve Gardner who served as Kerry's Gunners Mate. We all condemn his lies. The 7 who support the Senator are on his payroll. What we have to gain is our good name back after being called war criminals by a serial liar.

    JC: Have you been threatened, either with physical harm or legally?

    VO: Not personally. We are being sued by the DNC and Kerry Campaign to end our right to freedom of speech. A freedom we already paid for with service and blood. We will not let these guys Kill our first amendment right.

    JC: How do you answer the issue of the funding of your group?

    VO: We accept donations from Americans who are interested in getting the truth out. We never allow any donor to tell us what to say. It's our message and it will not be changed by outsiders. Right now our largest donor is the American people. Since the ad started we have received 5000 donations totaling $300,000.00.

    JC: Is there anything else you would like to add, that I have not asked?

    VO: Kerry recently recanted his statement that he was in Cambodia under illegal orders during Christmas 1968. This is the second lie he is admitting and I think his house of cards is starting to fall.

    JC: Mr. Odell, thank you for your service to our country, for your bravery in standing for the truth and for granting me this interview.
  2. gpostal

    gpostal Former Guest

    Feb 20, 2003
    I can’t help that think not all of these vets directly served with kerry ,but would like to step into the lime light because they served the same position or company,I just can’t believe everyone of these I hear ,

    a radio show I listen to was attacking kerry’s claim for one of his purple hearts ,{note:1} the first one was supposed self inflicted, which did not require nothing more than pull out a piece of shrapnel and a band aid ,and kerry demanded a purple heart ,he shot into some bush and his own bullet ,quote: boomeranged back and hit him ,this is the story told by the doctor that alleged treated him ,and is now on a commercial claiming this with other vets ,but there has been no proof of this doctor serving ,and he doesn’t deserve the medal because it was self inflicted

    anyway,not defending kerry as kerry ,but as a sideline view ,I have a few questions of my own

    where do you get these boomerang bullets?, I don’t want any one those
    Since when can a enlisted soldier demand a medal and get it?
    Who decided at the time a scratch deserves a purple heart ?,so I suspect there is more to it
    Why is only the one medal being argued ,what was the other two for ,no one seems to know?

    If in fact the wound was self inflicted ,and this is cause not to get a medal ,this should mean that every soldier that has received one for a similar injury doesn’t deserve one
    ,and then why stop there ,this should include friendly fire of all types ,it could have very well came from the guy standing next to him

    ok now ,I can’t stand kerry for who he is ,and what he did when he came back during the protest ,and interviews was wrong ,but he did enlist to serve in the war

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