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THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE

Medals Procedure Followed

September 18, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Navy's chief investigator concluded Friday that procedures were followed properly in the approval of Sen. John F. Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Heart medals, according to an internal Navy memo.

Vice Adm. R.A. Route, the Navy inspector general, conducted the review of Kerry's Vietnam-era military service awards at the request of Judicial Watch, a public interest group.

Judicial Watch had requested in August that the Navy open an investigation of the matter, but Route said in an internal memo obtained by Associated Press that he saw no reason for a full-scale probe.

"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed," Route wrote in the memo sent Friday to Navy Secretary Gordon R. England.

"In particular, the senior officers who awarded the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards."

Some veterans have challenged Kerry's version of the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to his Silver Star award for battlefield heroism, as well as his Purple Heart medals.

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