Senator John Kerry
But John Kerry's wartime experience taught him a painful lesson that he could not forget, even after he returned home. In the midst of battle, he had seen the lives of his fellow soldiers, his friends, put at risk because some leaders in Washington were making bad decisions. He decided he had a responsibility to his friends still serving, the friends he had lost, and his country, to help restore responsible leadership in America. So when he came home to the United States, John Kerry spoke out against a policy he felt gave politicians political cover while soldiers bore the real burden. At 27 years old, John Kerry sounded a call to reason when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and posed the powerful question, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" He also began a lifelong fight for his fellow veterans – joining with other vets to found the Vietnam Veterans of America to fight for veterans’ benefits, for extension of the G.I. Bill for Higher Education, and for treatment of PTSD.