Covering more than four decades, Tour of Duty is the definitive account of John Kerry's journey from war to peace.
Written by acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley, this is the first full-scale, intimate account of Kerry's naval career.
Kerry also entrusted to Brinkley his letters home from Vietnam and his voluminous "War Notes" -- journals, notebooks, and personal reminiscences written during and shortly after the war.
This material was provided without restriction, to be used at Brinkley's discretion, and has never before been published.John Kerry enlisted in the Navy in February 1966, months before he graduated from Yale.
In December 1967 Ensign Kerry was assigned to the frigate U.S.S. Gridley; after five months of service in the Pacific, with a brief stop in Vietnam, he returned to the United States and underwent training to command a Swift boat, a small craft deployed in Vietnam's rivers.
In June 1968 Kerry was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade), and by the end of that year he was back in Vietnam, where he commanded, over time, two Swift boats.
Working with his friend Senator John McCain, he returned to Vietnam numerous times looking for MIAs and POWs. By the time Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Kerry was the leading proponent of "normalization" of relations with Vietnam.
When President Clinton officially recognized Vietnam in 1995, Kerry's three-decade-long tour of duty had at long last ended.