Paul Galanti Speaks Out on Kerry
By John M. Glionna
Los Angeles Times
Paul Galanti learned of Kerry's speech while held captive inside North Vietnam's infamous "Hanoi Hilton" internment camp. The Navy pilot had been shot down in June 1966 and spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war.
During torture sessions, he said, his captors cited the antiwar speeches as "an example of why we should cross over to (their) side."
"The Viet Cong didn't think they had to win the war on the battlefield," Galanti said, "because thanks to these protesters they were going to win it on the streets of San Francisco and Washington."
He says Kerry broke a covenant among servicemen never to make public criticisms that might jeopardize those still in battle or in the hands of the enemy. Because he did, Galanti said, "John Kerry was a traitor to the men he served with."
Now retired and living in Richmond, Va., Galanti, 64, refuses to cool his ire toward Kerry. "I don't plan to set it aside. I don't know anyone who does," he said. "The Vietnam Memorial has thousands of additional names due to John Kerry and others like him."
Galanti's military decorations include the Silver Star, Two Legions of Merit for combat, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star for combat, nine Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal for combat and two Purple Hearts.