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November 18, 2012

It is a stinging slap in the faces of our Vietnam veterans from the Obama administration to even consider John Kerry as the future Secretary of Defense. But, as one friend pointed out on Twitter, that is probably the intention of Obama, to further “put our patriots in their place and show them who is really in charge now.”

My personal history is one motivation for writing a series of children’s books titled “The Heroes of the Vietnam War: Books for Children.” I was just a few months short of nine years old when, in 1970, my oldest brother was killed in Vietnam.  As the youngest of seven children, the baby daughter with five older brothers and one older sister, the details of my brother’s death never filtered down to me in the fullness of their weight, purposefully so, I suppose. But with the curiosity of a journalist I’ve researched my brother’s service and the circumstances of his death. And through that process I’ve found that the Democrat presidential candidate, Senator, and traitor John Kerry, may have been indirectly responsible for my brother, Don’s death.

Frederick Don Snyder was killed at the the age of  twenty-two when Viet Cong forces hidden along the shores of the Dam Doi River ambushed his three-boat patrol. He manned the machine gun atop the second Swift Boat and covered the first Swift Boat in the patrol when it came under heavy rocket fire. Shrapnel penetrated his chest and he died from wounds that no man could have survived in those circumstances.  His meritorious service on those Swift Boat patrols is detailed in this citation:

 It came as no surprise to my family that Don had a knack for electronics, as well as accuracy with weapons.  He had an IQ above 140, was emotionally intense and focused, and as for firearms, my dad taught all of us how to shoot, and shoot accurately, as soon as we were big enough to properly shoulder a 22 rifle.

Don did not begin his Vietnam tour on the Swift Boats. He initially served on the Destroyer, USS Towers, as a Radarman 3rd Class, and as I detail in “Vietnam: Waters of Death, Rivers of Time,” intolerable friction between him, with his stubborn intensity, and the officer in direct command of his operations, caused him to leave the relative safety of the sea for the perils of the river patrols.  He served with Coastal Patrol 11, “Numbah One Watchdog,” whose mascot was Snoopy, and Coastal patrol 13, “Catlo Vigilance,” whose insignia featured a black cat.  John E. O’Neill, author of “Unfit for Command” and spokesman of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” also served with Coastal Division 13 during that time.

I contacted John O’Neill regarding my series of children’s books because I want to dedicate one edition in the series to the Swift Boat sailors. John remembered my brother, and the 50 or so other men in his division who were killed when the Viet Cong engaged their Swift Boats. John O’Neill is a man of great temperance and honor and, regardless of his efforts to bring attention to the the traitorous and dishonest record of John Kerry, he holds no guile in his heart.  But he intimated to me a little-known fact about John Kerry’s history as a Commanding Officer in charge of some of the early Swift Boat operations.

Psyops in Vietnam, along with direct propaganda and leaflet drops,  were often a function of broadcasting propaganda of one form or another from loudspeakers, usually mounted on Huey helicopters. This psychological propaganda invited villagers to abandon or expose the Viet Cong, or otherwise urged them to cooperate with American forces.  Those villagers who did so would be rewarded and often protected by the operations who enlisted their help through Psyops. John O’Neill believed that prior to John Kerry’s abrupt departure from Vietnam–just as soon as he nailed that third Purple Heart–he ordered this version of audio Psyops to be broadcast from the river patrol Swift Boats.  When John related this to me, two thoughts came to mind. First: This would make the Swift Boats sitting ducks for the entrenched Viet Cong units along the rivers. They could easily triangulate the positions of the boats, even at night, so long as those loudspeakers were blaring. Second: It’s easy to conceive that someone like John Kerry, with his liberal/progressive mindset that the enemies of Americans are naturally endowed with more virtuous natures and intentions than Americans themselves, would see no harm in such a reckless operation. Villagers were not commonly found along the mangrove thickets and dense jungle foliage of the rivers of the Mekong Delta. The rivers were hardly watering holes for livestock or swimming holes for Vietnamese kids. But the Viet Cong embedded themselves into those jungle outposts along the rivers, virtually undetected, like cobras prepared to strike the next victim that passed by.

The Swift Boat patrols were highly vulnerable to attack, and these broadcasts increased that danger incalculably. War is war and death is always near. But this Psyops policy likely cost the lives of many Swift Boat sailors. I haven’t yet found a document that directly links John Kerry to this policy, but the word of John E. O’Neill is gold to me.  O’Neill loved the men he served with and he remembers all the men who died in those firefights. His service to his country continues as he, and other patriots like him, fight against those in power who would rub the traitorous legacy of John Kerry in the faces of every man and woman who have served in the United States Military, especially those heroes who fought in Vietnam.

The traitorous legacy of John Kerry is well known. His lies during the “Winter Soldier” hearings helped to turn American sentiment against our warriors who were fighting the war at the time. His demoralizing abuse of his officer status, his defilement of war medals, and his partnership with Hanoi Jane Fonda in furthering the lies about our men in Vietnam were acts of treason that emboldened the North Vietnamese Communists, their surrogates in South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and lead to the extended incarceration of American POWs held in Hanoi prison camps. John Kerry’s abuse of his rank as a Commanding Officer in the Navy, the fact that he wrote the reports that resulted in his endowment of several high commendations, and his general lack of moral character, all disqualify him from any public honor. Americans need to remember that John Kerry was a traitor during the Vietnam War, and he remains so today. It is a stinging slap in the faces of our Vietnam veterans, other American veterans and active-duty Military, from the Obama administration to even consider John Kerry as the future Secretary of Defense. But, as one friend pointed out on Twitter, that is probably the intention of Obama, to further “put our patriots in their place and show them who is really in charge now.”

With the consideration of John Kerry as Secretary of Defense, the Obama Administration has opened old wounds borne by our old soldiers and sailors who defended freedom in Vietnam. He has made this issue personal. And for me, it is very personal.

by Marjorie Haun 11/18/ 2012



  1. Awesome article Marjorie!!! Keep up the good work!!!

  2. lol, great image.And yeah, wtf. We cut-and-ran in Vietnam, and it was a damn good decision. Where did he get we’ll sceuecd unless we quit ?!?

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