Van O'Dell, a former Navy enlisted man who says he was the gunner on another Swift Boat, states in his affidavit that he was "a few yards away" from Kerry's boat on March 13, 1969 when Kerry pulled one of his crewmen from the water. According to the official medal citations, Kerry's boat was under enemy fire at the time, and Kerry had been wounded when an enemy mine exploded near his own boat. O'Dell insists "there was no fire" at the time, adding: "I did not hear any shots, nor did any hostile fire hit any boats" other than his own, PCF-3.
Others in the ad back up that account. Jack Chenoweth, who was a Lieutenant (junior grade) commanding PCF-3, said Kerry's boat "fled the scene" after a mine blast disabled PCF-3, and returned only later "when it was apparent that there was no return fire." And Larry Thurlow, who says he commanded a third Swift Boat that day, says "Kerry fled while we stayed to fight," and returned only later "after no return fire occurred."
Again, don't take what a man says seriously. Fact is, it was in a battle condition. This hasn't been contested that Kerry helped another boat. Noone claims the event never happened. Again, it's Kerry that is blowing his own horn in this campaign.
What was Kerry supposed to do? Turn tail? To do anything other than what he supposedly did, (pick up the wounded) would be cowardice. Recardless, he deserves the Purple Heart in this instance of saving lives. Again, this isn't even an issue. You act like he was operating in a vacume.
Finally the 3rd, from your own site.
In any case, even a "friendly fire" injury can qualify for a purple heart "as long as the 'friendly' projectile or agent was released with the full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment," according to the website of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. All agree that rice was being destroyed that day on the assumption that it otherwise might feed Viet Cong fighters.
So what is the point? From his 3 purple hearts, it seems like your own source shows that he was hit more often from friendly fire than the enemy.
The point still remains that people who served with him were totally unimpressed with is capability as a Junior Grade LT.