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Deferring Vietnam

Remember the scene from the movie Big Wednesday, where the three buddies are going to the draft board, each with a different method of trying to earn a deferment? On guy pretends to be gay, Garey Busey's character pretends to be crazy, and Jan Michael Vincent's character has his buddies kneecap him to fake and injury. That's what the whole dustup around Vietnam service is turning into...

Reader Daniel Aronstein contributes the following on Teresa Heinz-Kerry's latest quote:

"To have a couple of people who escaped [service in Vietnam] four, five, six times and deferred, deferred and deferred, calling [Kerry] anything or doubting his heroism is in and of itself unpatriotic," Heinz Kerry said. She added that she was referring to Cheney's lack of military service and to the attacks from the Bush campaign on various aspects of the Vietnam service of her husband."
Her comment brings to mind a question:

Was John Kerry also unpatriotic for seeking a deferment, but getting turned down? From a 1970 interview with Kerry in the Harvard Crimson:

When he approached his draft board for permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry decided to enlist in the Navy.
If not, then HOW CAN SHE DARE CRITICIZE CHENEY FOR SEEKING ONE - (or more) - AND NOT getting turned down?

Put another way - How can she ascribe to Cheney a lower "moral standing" than Kerry just because the DOD/SSS honored Cheney's requests and not her current husband's?


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Comments (3)

JFKerry would seem to have ... (Below threshold)

JFKerry would seem to have received four years of deferments before he was turned down, and then enlisted in the "safe" way, Air Force or Navy, rather than risk being drefted into the Army (the USMC was not taking draftees until the very late '60's.) Who else do we know that either did this or tried to do this?

Bush (AF). Clinton (AFROTC). Was Carter an Annoplis grad?

Yea, I'm old enough that I had to decide what to do, too. I did two years in AFROTC, was too tall to be a pilot, left, eventually looked about, discovered that the Corps would teach me to fly, at least, and enlisted. Turns out that I was too tall there, too. Ah, the workings of the Good Fairy of War.

"How can she ascribe to ... (Below threshold)

"How can she ascribe to Cheney a lower "moral standing" than Kerry just because the DOD/SSS honored Cheney's requests and not her current husband's?"

Because Cheney is a Republican. Duh!

I'm glad someone mentioned ... (Below threshold)
Al Reasin:

I'm glad someone mentioned college deferments. I have yet to read or hear any of the major media mention this fact. Mr. Kerry had 4 deferments and then a failure on the 5th; I failed on the 3rd try. I should go after Mr. Cheney too. Also, each draft board had its own commitments. Some had a larger pool and were more liberal. I donít know the details of each of their deferments, but my draft board put you on the top of the list when your deferment ran out. I thought that was fair and expected to serve since others had went in my place for 2 years.






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