Kerry thanks Lautenberg for swift boat defense

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The New Jersey lawmaker was the last remaining World War II veteran in the U.S. Senate, and one of just three remaining in Congress. 

During the 2004 presidential election, a nonprofit political group known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth accused Kerry of exaggerating his war record and challenged the legitimacy of the then-senator's war medals. Democrats, including Lautenberg, defended Kerry's military service. 

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