John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He has served in the United States Senate, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the candidate of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election but lost to George W. Bush. Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado and attended boarding school in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He graduated from Yale University class of 1966 with a political science major, and was a member of the Skull and Bones secret society. Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966, and during 1968–1969 served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of a Swift Boat. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed United States war policy in Vietnam to be the cause of "war crimes."