Kerry draws on '71 Vietnam testimony in asking current vets to speak

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) is drawing on his own background as a Vietnam War protester in inviting veterans of the war in Afghanistan to testify in front of the committee this week.

"One of the lessons that I learned a long time ago and lived out here was that it's important to listen to the troops, it's important to listen to the folks who are implementing these policies and putting their lives at risk," Kerry told National Public Radio in an interview. "And they often have perspective that isn't adequately heard."

Kerry's 1971 testimony, which called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, was controversially used in ads during the 2004 presidential campaign to damage Kerry's efforts.

"So I think it's very important to have that kind of a hearing, and I guess that's sort of one of the lessons from the past, if you will," Kerry added.