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20 November 2005

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jerry

Looks to me like Cheney jumped into community college to escape the draft after he failed out of Yale.

Minnesotachuck

If I recall correctly, Cheney flunked out of Yale on his first try at college. Since you point out that his first deferrment came at age 22, these must have all come afterwards, if my memory is correct.

Jerome Gaskins

Pat, did you mean piqued where you said peeked?

I was surprised to learn that you can get a military deferment as a Community College!

W. Patrick Lang

Jerome

peakĀ·ed 2 (pkd) KEY

ADJECTIVE:

Having a sickly appearance: You're looking a little peaked today. Sorry pl

Michael Murry

It would take a book (which I have often thought of writing) to describe the attitudes faced by Vietnam Veterans as they returned "home" from a foreign land THEY didn't understand to a native land that didn't understand THEM. Many of us became completely alienated -- in my case, permanently.

The disillusionment and alienation destroyed many a fine and honest man. In my case, given a naturally recalcitrant personality, it set me free. My country -- especially the nostalgic old WWII farts in the VFW -- didn't want me, and my mother always told me never to overstay my welcome. So I went back to Asia as a foreign exchange student within six months of coming "home" to homelessness. I couldn't adjust to the hostility and derision and saw little point in trying.

Allan Farrell certainly has it right when -- as Pat says -- he wrote of our fellow citizens condeming us as "stupid" and "losers." Bush and Cheney both come from that strata of our generation that feels this way. They won't say about us now what they said about us then, of course, but their every action and spoken word reeks with unconcealed contempt. I gave it back to them a little in my poem "The Hens Roared Upside Down." In Iraq, they fully intended, like Rambo and John McCain, to go back and do it again -- this time the way real, courageous, and smart men would. I tried to get at this attitude a little bit in my poem "Lunatic Leviathan."

I don't care about such people as Bush and Cheney, naturally. I don't even care much about the country. It certainly never really cared much about me. I do, though, care about the men and women now coming back home from their ordeal. I frankly do not give a shit about "losing" something or other in Iraq. As with Vietnam, I've never understood the precise nature of the something-or-other that our government keeps promising to "win" for us just as soon as the ticket-punching parade of bungling bureaucrats gets over their interminably bloody, earn-while-you-don't-learn decades of dithering and dropping the ball. I just don't want to see us drop the ball on Abraham Lincoln's promise: "to care for him who has borne the battle, and his widow and his orphan." In any event, America can easily afford to lose the likes of me. I just don't want America to lose THEM.

ikonoklast

1973, at a small college in western Michigan. Many of the students were returned veterans from Southeast Asia. These men were not too "stupid" to go to Canada or find deferments. Neither were they the killers stigmatized by the Left. They were men who served for a variety of personal reasons, and what they had in common was that they had all "seen the elephant."
I was a 17 year old freshman and those vets I knew were unsure in their new surroundings. On many of them the hurt was palpable. They were spooked, uncomfortable. We who had not shared their experiences could only try to put them at ease.
Who, not having been there with these young men, could judge them? How morally degraded do you have to be, having avoided service, to now besmirch them for reasons of self-aggrandizement and partisan advantage?
It's justifiable to criticize Cleland, Kerry, McCain, Murtha, Kerrey, etc. for actions in their political careers. But sneering at them for having done their duty is beneath contempt and beyond immoral.
Any halfway competent con man can make people feel stupid. Still, even if you put him a position of power and dress him up in a tux, he remains nothing but a ratty two-bit hustler. If there is justice, these venal bastards will suffocate in the cesspit of their own hypocrisy.

Eric  Guevara

@Michael:

Good Thoughts!

Greetings to everyone from God's Country--Shenandoah County, VA.


Cheney could have served his country in some fashion--there were many ways available, that would not have put him within range of enemy fire. He, as I remember, had "other priorities."Procreation, apparenently, high on the list.


Mr. Bush served his country, with some discrepancy about a 16-month period. He currently compensates for that discrepancy by flying to military bases, making bad-ass speeches, and collecting unit patches like a "needy" cub scout.


All this would be amusing if it were not utterly pathetic.


The Sheehan Revolutionary Front(SRF) held an organizational meeting here in late July. A dedicated cadre of 40 spreads the message.


VENCEREMOS!

Michael Murry

Eric:

The Sheehan Revolutionary Front? In Virginia? At last, hope begins to dawn for the Republic! Contact me at michael_murry@themisfortuneteller.com and I'll send you a copy of my poem "Metrics for Measure" which I wrote specifically with Cindy Sheehan in mind. In fact, I dedicated it to her: "a loving mother who lost her son from a loving son who lost his mother." If you could help me get a copy to her I would very much appreciate it. I don't need leaders or commanders but I would walk with her anywhere, for we share the same destination.

May you ride cool motorcycles and keep good diaries forever, amigo.

Bob Sakowski

The Times article is incorrect in one respect.

Back then a young man was liable for the draft from the age of 18 until age 26.

However if he took any deferments he remained eligible to age 35.

When I took my second discharge from the USAF in 1966, my local draft board tried to say that my 8 years on active duty amounted to a deferment, thus I was still liable for the draft for another 10 years (I was 25 when I was discharged).

Needless to say, they corrected their error.

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