On What My Brother Said
Let me elaborate on what my little brother said recently about draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. Many did not want to be drafted but could do nothing about it. Bill Clinton joined JROTC in College as a means of evading the draft. He failed in his commitment to JROTC and was ordered to report for active duty. Instead he fled the country and at one point joined a protest in front of the American embassy in London. President Ford signed an executive order in 1974 granting amnesty to war protestors and this included Bill Clinton. This literally paved the way for Clinton to become Governor of Arkansas twice, and later become President.
On the other hand Donald Trump was sent to and after 5 years graduated from the New York Military Academy. He was found to have bone spurs which made him medically disqualified (4F) for military service. Some reports say that Trump received as many as 5 medical deferments for those bone spurs, but that tells me that at some point Trump tried to enlist 5 times but was turned down and that does not make him a draft dodger.
I have classmates who dropped out of school to join the Idaho National Guard because they didn’t want to be drafted and sent to Vietnam. Some of them ended up going to Vietnam with the Idaho National Guard unit they were assigned. Others joined and volunteered for Vietnam.
I didn’t want to be drafted so like many before me so I joined in 1967 expecting to go to Vietnam. I did go to Vietnam in February 1968, but only stopping on my way to Thailand where I had been assigned. Does that make me a draft dodger? No because I did not evade military service.
Many who tried going into the military were stopped by the physical examination by a medical doctor at the AFEES (Armed Forces Entrance and Examining Station) and classified medically not qualified and given a category of 4F.
There were many who neither served, nor were drafted and that is OK.
Others went off to college and became war protestors against the Vietnam War, later ending up as college and university teachers, professors or deans and even members of Congress.
Hollywood had a big name star (Jane Fonda) that actually went to North Vietnam and posed with North Vietnamese enemy soldiers, in the presence of American prisoners of war without attempting to assist, help or otherwise report back to US officials what or who she had seen. The name Hanoi Jane is still a disgraceful name and that person is still not remorseful even now.
US veterans who returned from the war were not well received. Many were spit on and called vile names and in some cases high school friends turned their backs.
There were Veterans who protested against the war which did much to harm the men and women they left behind or served with, because of their protests. Some went on to become members of Congress and one (John Kerry) even became a presidential cabinet member for the Obama administration. Today John Kerry is active in unsanctioned international meetings and discussions with foreign enemy nations which violate federal law (The Logan Act) several times after leaving the Obama State Department. – I am the Real Truckmaster!