The bottom line on John Forbes Kerry is that he's a lying son-of-a-whore who shit on his own brothers-in-arms (including two of my uncles, which is why I take this so personally) in the middle of a extremely bitter and divisive war, apparently for no better reason than he thought that it would enhance his political career. There's a whole archive of material relating to Kerry's involvement in the "Winter Soldier" propaganda campaign at www.wintersoldier.com, including his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his book The New Soldier, which oddly enough is out of print.
The thing that I honestly don't understand is how Kerry could possibly think that thirty years later, after he apparently benefited from a Carter-era administrative upgrading of his discharge, people would forget any of this and give him credit for the Vietnam service that he himself had publicly pissed all over. Mac Owens' essay in National Review Online asked which John Kerry was the real thing, the antiwar protester or the proud veteran of the brown-water Navy. He never got a reply, and neither did the rest of America.
So there you are, P. Hope this answers your questions regarding the specifics.