In his Aug. 31 op-ed piece, George F. Will labels John Kerry's assertion that "he defended this country as a young man" as "revisionism." Doesn't military service on active duty in our country's armed forces count as defending this country, whether one sees combat (as Kerry did) or not? Whether the war itself was wise or not? Whether the war was won or not? For Will to portray this truth as "revisionism" is dishonest and cynical.

In the next paragraph, Will portrays the Swift boat group's attacks on Kerry's service record as "citizens' groups question[ing] his patently questionable claims about his Vietnam service." Kerry's well-documented service record is patently questionable only if one uses the circular argument that Kerry's service record is patently questionable simply because someone questioned it, and that someone questioned it only because it was patently questionable. The only thing patently questionable are the claims by the anti-Kerry Swift boat veterans, which are contradicted by the official record, eyewitness testimony and previous statements by members of the same group.

George Will may have a partisan interest, as is his right, but for him to employ such a level of dishonesty to promote that interest is shameful.

-- Ken Rapuano

Arlington