Hal Kushner

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CPT Harold "Hal" Kushner, USA MD

Reluctant warrior. Capt. Kushner, a medical doctor, not a military man, was a long time captive of a Viet Cong unit inside South Vietnam where many POWs died of disease, starvation, beatings and executions. Tortured he made propaganda tapes and flyers.[1] During his captivity, his wife, Valerie, became active in the effort to end the war, believing that was the only hope her husband had of returning home. During a John Kerry press conference in late July 1971 Kerry backed a VC peace plan and brought POW family members, trophies, on stage. Some die hard women called those POW relatives supporting Kerry, “stupid.” Mrs. Floyd Harold Kushner, Valerie, said the complaining ladies had bad manners.[2] Her husband had barely survived captivity among the Viet Cong[3] whose brutally bad manners Kerry did not admonished at his press conference supporting the enemy in war. Kushner arrived in Hanoi after a long march of hundreds of miles and there made further propaganda tapes until POW senior officers prohibited it. Kushner made no more statements, but the damage was done. On October 13, 1971 at a VVAW rally at the University of Florida, Gainesville, VVAW leader Scott Camil played a tape of POWs, one of Capt. Kishner [Floyd Harold “Hal” Kushner] condemning American atrocities and expressing a desire to go home to his family.[4] Kushner was unhappy with his wife Valorie’s participation in the antiwar movement. Kushner became ambivalent about the war himself. The North Vietnam communists released Kushner on March 16, 1973. Recently, Kushner has expressed uncertainty about fighting communism in Vietnam.

References

  1. FBI, Jacksonville, LHM, “Anti-War Speak Out Rally by Student Mobilization and VVAW,” Gainesville, Florida, October 28, 1971, 2,5.
  2. Mary McGrory, “POW Drive in Confusion,” The Evening Star, July 23, 1971.
  3. Craig Howes, Voices of the Vietnam POWs, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993,214n64
  4. FBI, Jacksonville, LHM, “Anti-War Speak Out Rally by Student Mobilization and VVAW,” Gainesville, Florida, October 28, 1971, 2,5.

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