William Rood, the commander of one of the swift boats that was on patrol with John Kerry on the day that Kerry was awarded his silver star, has gone public with a first person account of the day’s events. There were three boats on the patrol, one was commanded by Kerry, the second by Rood, and the third by Donald Droz, who was killed in action less than two months after that day. Here’s what Rood has to say:

Many of us wanted to put it all behind us–the rivers, the ambushes, the killing. Ever since that time, I have refused all requests for interviews about Kerry’s service–even those from reporters at the Chicago Tribune, where I work.

But Kerry’s critics, armed with stories I know to be untrue, have charged that the accounts of what happened were overblown. The critics have taken pains to say they’re not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us. 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.

By the way, the swiftvets bucket at del.icio.us is becoming a useful resource.