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Vietnam War: John Kerry’s Role Essay

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Updated: Mar 18th, 2022

Kerry’s significance

John Kerry was awarded a number of medals for his role in the Vietnam War. These medals include Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Kerry’s ability to lead the swift boats in the enemy territory in an effort to reduce their attack on Americans and Vietnamese civilians through gathering intelligence is considered heroic. Kerry commandeered the boats in a bid to cut off or disrupt the supply of resources to the enemy.

Kerry’s actions during the Vietnam war that eventually led to his acquisition of the Purple Heart is a as a result of his ability to stop the actions of the enemy as evident in their offloading of war materials at a river. These enemies attempted to run thus prompting an exchange of fire subsequently wounding Kerry. This highlights Kerry’s significance as evident in his role concerned with gathering intelligence and limiting the activities of the enemy.

Kerry’s significance is also evident in his ability to coordinate the actions of the American soldiers and the Vietnamese military; this is particularly evident in carefully calculated decisions that entailed timely firing at the enemy, one particular event is when a Vietnam Cong was approaching Kerry’s boat with a rocket necessitating Kerry to run after him and end his life in an effort to save the lives of rest of the crew.

It is for this reason that Kerry was awarded the Silver Star. Kerry’s actions are also significant as seen in his ability alter the strategy pursued by the Americans and the Vietnamese military in an effort to deal with security threats as they occurred.

Kerry’s uniqueness

Kerry is unique in a number of ways. His ability to highlight the evils associated with the war in Vietnam is not only considered noble but a necessary process that makes it easier for America to correct mistakes committed during the war. Kerry indicates that a number of civilians in Vietnam were raped, had their ears and heads cut off.

This is in addition to other atrocities committed against the Vietnamese and their property. It is worth mentioning that food supplies were poisoned, domesticated animals shot at will and villages razed. In as much as Americans were interested in enhancing democracy in the region, it is worth mentioning that the locals were only interested in working in the paddy rice fields. They did not care much about communism or democracy.

According to Kerry the war in Vietnam was unnecessary. It is notable that the ability of John Kerry to highlight such circumstances to the foreign relations committee without fear of victimization makes him unique in comparison to other Vietnamese war veterans.

Kerry’s Influence

Kerry influenced the War in Vietnam as seen in his courageous decisions that made it easier to save the lives of American soldiers, while in Vietnam Kerry advocated for pacification of areas that were less volatile such as the country side. Kerry saw it convenient to allow the Vietnamese to take charge of their destiny thus calling upon the decision makers in Washington to initiate changes in strategy which will allow training of Vietnamese soldiers. This would have made it easier for such entities to take charge of their own destiny.

As a civilian Kerry influenced the continuation of the war by highlighting its disadvantages thus the need to initiate measures in this respect. Kerry’s actions at home are termed as ‘civilian courage’. In conclusion Kerry’s political aspirations as portrayed by his desire to become President of the United States years ago highlights the need to correct the mistakes committed by Americans in Vietnam.

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"Vietnam War: John Kerry's Role." IvyPanda, 18 Mar. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-era/.

1. IvyPanda. "Vietnam War: John Kerry's Role." March 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-era/.


IvyPanda. "Vietnam War: John Kerry's Role." March 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-era/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "Vietnam War: John Kerry's Role." March 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-era/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'Vietnam War: John Kerry's Role'. 18 March.

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