The Bush campaign hasn’t raised questions about John F. Kerry’s military service. But Kerry’s hometown paper, the Boston Globe, which is preparing a book on the senator’s life, reports that the Internet is abuzz about the matter:

“Some Vietnam veterans are using the Internet and talk radio to question the Democratic candidate’s military record. They complain that Kerry’s three Purple Hearts were for minor wounds and that he left Vietnam more than six months ahead of schedule under regulations permitting thrice-wounded soldiers to depart early.”

The Globe reportedly found that the future presidential contender had acted heroically under fire but that his commanding officer (apparently, Kerry already had “likeability” problems) had questioned the appropriateness of the Purple Heart, which is often presented to grievously wounded soldiers:

“’He had a little scratch on his forearm, and he was holding a piece of shrapnel,’” recalled Kerry’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Grant Hibbard. ’People in the office were saying, ’I don’t think we got any fire,’ and there is a guy holding a little piece of shrapnel in his palm.’ Hibbard said he couldn’t be certain whether Kerry actually came under fire on Dec. 2, 1968, the date in question and that is why he said he asked Kerry questions about the matter.

“But Kerry persisted and, to his own ’chagrin,’ Hibbard said, he dropped the matter. ’I do remember some questions, some correspondence about it,’ Hibbard said. “I finally said, ’OK, if that’s what happened…do whatever you want.’ After that, I don’t know what happened. Obviously, he got it, I don’t know how.”