First Affidavit of Steve Pitkin

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First Affidavit  (2004) 
by Steve Pitkin
Affidavit of Steven J. Pitkin – These are affidavits written by Steven J. Pitkin. They became public record in Palm Beach County, Florida on August 31 and September 15, 2004. Pitkin’s first affidavit offers his recollection of events that transpired in 1970-71. Pitkin's second affidavit revises those recollections after they were challenged by a party named therein (see Affidavit of Scott Camil).


AFFIDAVIT OF STEVEN J. PITKIN

STATE OF FLORIDA COUNTY OF PALM BEACH

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Steven J. Pitkin, known, to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to this instrument, who, after first being duly sworn by me, upon oath stated:

1. My name is Steven J. Pitkin. I am over the age of twenty-one years, and I am fully competent and able to make this affidavit. I am able to swear, as I do hereby swear, that all facts and statements contained in this affidavit are true and correct and within my personal knowledge.

2. I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, having served with the Ninth Division of the U.S. Army beginning 25 May 1969. A mortar explosion wounded me, my wounds gradually became infected, and I was treated in an Army hospital in Okinawa. I contracted hepatitis C from blood transfusions I received during that time. I was honorably discharged from the Army on 28 August 1969.

3. Medals received for my Army service include: Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, RVN Cross of Gallantry, Air Medal, Purple Heart.

4. During my service in Vietnam, I neither witnessed nor participated in any American war crimes or atrocities against civilians, nor was I ever aware of any such actions. I did witness the results of Vietcong atrocities against Vietnamese civilians, including the murder of tribal leaders.

5. Upon my return to the United States I encountered anti-war protestors who, at various times, threw feces, spit, and screamed obscenities.

6. I met Scott Camil, an organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), at Catonsville Community College in Baltimore in 1970, and joined that organization.

7. In January of 1971, I rode in a van with Scott Camil, John Kerry, a national leader of the VVAW, and others from Washington D.C. to Detroit to attend the Winter Soldier Investigation, a conference intended to publicize alleged American war crimes in Vietnam. Having no knowledge of such war crimes, I did not intend to speak at the event.

8. During the Winter Soldier Investigation, John Kerry and other leaders of that event pressured me to testify about American war crimes, despite my repeated statements that I could not honestly do so. One event leader strongly implied that I would not be provided transportation back to my home in Baltimore, Maryland, if I failed to comply. Kerry and other leaders of the event instructed me to publicly state that I had witnessed incidents of rape, brutality, atrocities and racism, knowing that such statements would necessarily be untrue.

9. In April 1971, I attended a VVAW protest in Washington D.C. known as “Dewey Canyon III.” During this event I was present when protestors, including John Kerry, threw medals and ribbons over a fence outside the U.S. Capitol. I witnessed a man holding a bag of ribbons and medals and handing them out to other protestors. I saw that many of the ribbons and medals were not those that would be received by veterans of combat in Vietnam.

10. During the “Dewey Canyon III” protest, others and I confronted protestors who were wearing or carrying Vietcong flags.

11. After the “Dewey Canyon III” protest, I was no longer invited to meetings of the VVAW in Baltimore, and ended my association with the organization.

12. I joined the 5/20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland National Guard in 1974, was graduated from paratrooper “jump school” with honors in 1976, joined the Coast Guard in 1978 and served there until my retirement in May 1997.

(signed) Steven J. Pitkin

Further affiant saith not.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 31st day of August, 2004.

Jonathan Feldman Commission # DD235268 My commission expires July 28, 2007