If you go see George Butler's fine new documentary Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry (based on the book Tour of Duty) you will understand unequivocally why John Kerry has chosen to run his presidential campaign on his experience and record in the Vietnam War. But it is not for the obvious reasons: While many see him running solely on his in-battle war record, that's only the half of it.

Vietnam was a war that defined a nation and in the process it defined an entire generation of soldiers who fought there. John Kerry came home in the early 1970s and -- like a majority of the soldiers -- felt disillusioned by not only the way the war was going but by the actions and attitudes of the government that sent them there in the first place.

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