Hank has his doubts about the Swift vets:
Of course it still doesn’t explain any of the contradictions with Thurlow’s story. I’d say it’s his excuse for having botched his story. Still not willing to explain Rassmann’s account or why all those other boats couldn’t pick him up when they were not under fire?
That’s a reasonable question. It seems Larry Thurlow has a rather cogent explanation.
I submitted no paperwork for a medal nor did I file an after action report describing the incident. [Thus, while his current version of the story contradicts his citation, it cannot be considered self-contradictory as some have tried to portray it.] To my knowledge, John Kerry was the only officer who filed a report describing his version of the incidents that occurred on the river that day. It was not until I had left the Navy—approximately three months after I left the service—that I was notified that I was to receive a citation for my actions on that day. I believed then as I believe now that I received my Bronze Star for my efforts to rescue the injured crewmen from swift boat number three and to conduct damage control to prevent that boat from sinking.
My boat and several other swift boats went to the aid of our fellow swift boat sailors whose craft was adrift and taking on water. We provided immediate rescue and damage control to prevent boat three from sinking and to offer immediate protection and comfort to the injured crew.
After the mine exploded, leaving swift boat three dead in the water, John Kerry’s boat, which was on the opposite side of the river, fled the scene. US Army Special Forces officer Jim Rassmann, who was on Kerry’s boat at the time, fell off the boat and into the water. Kerry’s boat returned several minutes later—under no hail of enemy gunfire—to retrieve Rassmann from the river only seconds before another boat was going to pick him up.
I believe that’s another round to the Swift Vets. So far, we have Swift Vets 3, Kerry 0.