Chicago Tribune Editor and Former Swift Boat Commander Breaks Silence; Says Kerry Critics Wrong

Aug 23, 2004, 01:00 ET from Chicago Tribune

    CHICAGO, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "There were three Swift Boats on the
 river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago -- three officers and 15 crew
 members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on
 February 28, 1969.
     "One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver
 Star for what happened on that date. I am the other."
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-a
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-b
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-c
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-d )
     So begins William Rood's compelling account of events that happened more
 than 35 years ago. The article appears in the Sunday, August 22 edition of the
 Chicago Tribune.
     Rood, now night city editor for the Chicago Tribune, earned a Bronze Star
 for his part in the operation. Rood has chosen to break more than three
 decades of silence in defense of the men who served alongside him.
     "It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to
 accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were
 not there," Rood writes. "What matters most to me is that this is hurting crew
 men who are not public figures and who deserved to be honored for what they
 did.
     "My intent is to tell the story here and to never again talk publicly
 about it."
     William Rood's complete account will appear in the Sunday, August 22
 edition of the Chicago Tribune, available Saturday in Chicago and online at
 chicagotribune.com.
     Chicago Tribune Managing Editor James O'Shea said Rood has refused all
 interview requests up to now, including some from the Tribune's reporters.
 "Bill is a modest man and he didn't want his harrowing combat experiences to
 become engulfed in a political campaign.
     "As the coverage of Senator Kerry's war record has intensified, though,
 Rood decided to come forward with his story, primarily, he says, because
 Kerry's critics are telling stories that Rood knows to be untrue. The false
 accounts are casting doubts on the actions of those men who served with and
 under Rood, men who are not public figures running for president but brave,
 ordinary Americans, war veterans whose courage, Rood believes, should not be
 diminished by a heated political campaign."
 
     NOTE: William Rood will not be available for further comment or
 interviews.  Deputy Managing Editor George de Lama and reporter Tim Jones are
 available.
 
 

SOURCE Chicago Tribune
    CHICAGO, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "There were three Swift Boats on the
 river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago -- three officers and 15 crew
 members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on
 February 28, 1969.
     "One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver
 Star for what happened on that date. I am the other."
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-a
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-b
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-c
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040821/CGSA002-d )
     So begins William Rood's compelling account of events that happened more
 than 35 years ago. The article appears in the Sunday, August 22 edition of the
 Chicago Tribune.
     Rood, now night city editor for the Chicago Tribune, earned a Bronze Star
 for his part in the operation. Rood has chosen to break more than three
 decades of silence in defense of the men who served alongside him.
     "It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to
 accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were
 not there," Rood writes. "What matters most to me is that this is hurting crew
 men who are not public figures and who deserved to be honored for what they
 did.
     "My intent is to tell the story here and to never again talk publicly
 about it."
     William Rood's complete account will appear in the Sunday, August 22
 edition of the Chicago Tribune, available Saturday in Chicago and online at
 chicagotribune.com.
     Chicago Tribune Managing Editor James O'Shea said Rood has refused all
 interview requests up to now, including some from the Tribune's reporters.
 "Bill is a modest man and he didn't want his harrowing combat experiences to
 become engulfed in a political campaign.
     "As the coverage of Senator Kerry's war record has intensified, though,
 Rood decided to come forward with his story, primarily, he says, because
 Kerry's critics are telling stories that Rood knows to be untrue. The false
 accounts are casting doubts on the actions of those men who served with and
 under Rood, men who are not public figures running for president but brave,
 ordinary Americans, war veterans whose courage, Rood believes, should not be
 diminished by a heated political campaign."
 
     NOTE: William Rood will not be available for further comment or
 interviews.  Deputy Managing Editor George de Lama and reporter Tim Jones are
 available.
 
 SOURCE  Chicago Tribune