He kept this grandstand in his pocket until he needed it; i.e. as a distraction from the VA scandal was overshadowing everything–including his ridiculous visit the Afghanistan and his preposterous speech at West Point.
It is also well known that Kerry’s political ambition overshadowed his sense of honor and duty, and that he did everything he could to turn minor injuries into major issues. His third Purple Heart was a ticket out of Vietnam, and he knew it. It wasn’t long after he left the Navy that he launched into the anti-war activities that lead to the destruction of morale among our troops in Vietnam, and extended the incarcerations of many American P.O.W.s held in North Vietnamese prison camps.