Swift Boat Veteran for Kerry

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John Kerry is trying to counter blistering criticism of the circumstances surrounding how he got his medals, and his remarks to the senate following the Vietnam War.

Thursday morning, a veteran who served with Kerry during the Vietnam War spoke in support of him at Parkersburg City Park.

Jim Rassman said his backing the Democratic nominee has less to do with politics than with Kerry's ability to lead the country.

"I was a registered republican for 33 years," Rassman told a group of West Virginia veterans who are also Kerry supporters. "My support for Kerry is not only because of my high regard for him, but because of my low regard for the Republican administration for the past four years."

But he adds there may be no end in sight for America's involvement in Iraq. He admitted in an interview following the rally Thursday that he's concerned neither Bush or Kerry have a specific plan for completing the job and leaving Iraq.

“One of our senior officers said last week that he can see us with the current troop strength for another five years, Rassman said. "That's unacceptable, but I don't see any way out of it."

He says fighting terrorism also means countering weapons such as dirty bombs and biological attacks. Rassman believes the swift boat veterans appearing in TV ads are speaking out against Kerry because Kerry spoke out against the Vietnam War after his military service ended.