Kerry thanks Lautenberg for swift boat defense

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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