KERRY’S FIRST PURPLE HEART….This is a few days old, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer has tracked down one of the guys who was on John Kerry’s skimmer when he won his first Purple Heart:

“We were on about a 14-foot boat with an outboard motor. We started out, taking a guess, around 10 p.m. We were supposed to sneak up and check sampans,” said Pat Runyon, a 58-year-old grandfather from Eaton, a small southwestern Ohio town near the Indiana border.

….”Lt. Kerry said, ‘I’m going to pop a flare, and when I do, I want that engine started,’” Runyon said. But the outboard would not crank. Meanwhile, the sampan’s crew steered it to the riverbank, and people started running on the shore. Runyon said shooting broke out.

Somehow, Kerry’s weapon stopped firing. Runyon thinks he ran out of ammunition. He said Kerry bent down to pick up another gun and got hit in the arm.

Runyon says it wasn’t a serious wound, but then, no one has ever claimed it was. It was, however, a real wound from a real bullet.