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Historian says Kerry comments misconstrued

Sept. 24, 2004 at 5:55 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Historian Douglas Brinkley said Friday that comments he made suggesting John F. Kerry was not the war hero people thought had been misconstrued.

Brinkley, the author of a widely-acclaimed account of John F. Kerry's service in Vietnam said in a statement distributed by the Kerry presidential campaign the Sept. 24 New York Times story left "the false impression that I think John Kerry was not 'the war hero we thought he was.'"

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Brinkley said. "He was a great American fighting man in Vietnam and deserved all of his medals."

Brinkley's earlier statement was part of a larger statement of his belief that arguments Kerry's service in Vietnam and George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard are not nearly as important as the ongoing debate about the U.S. role in Iraq, the issue Kerry appears to have chosen to end the campaign with.

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