How Kerry Earned His Decorations

Kerry is one of the Senate's most decorated veterans--though he has far fewer medals than friend John McCain--and his record is impressive for an officer who spent just 10 months in Vietnam. Each of the medals below came with a matching ribbon. Kerry wore his ribbons when he testified before a Senate committee in 1971; the next day, joining hundreds of other vets, he lobbed them at the Capitol. --By Mitch Frank

SILVER STAR

What is it for? Gallantry in action

Why did Kerry get it? Kerry led three swift boats up a canal on Feb. 28, 1969, and ordered a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!