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Military Question.

OakieOakie Member Posts: 39,048 ✭✭✭✭

What is your opinion. On this date, in 1977, Jimmy Carter, Pardoned all the draft dodgers from the Vietnam war. Some men were scared and some didn't feel right about the war. I myself, never served in the military. I went from HS, to being married in two weeks, and then on to college.

If I was drafted, I know I would have went and enlisted in the Marine Corp, or Navy right away. I think the draft ended the year I graduated HS, 1981. Not sure.

Having said this, I'm not sure how I personally feel about the draft dodgers. I don't consider them cowards, Just men with a fear of dying for something they didn't believe in, or strong religious beliefs. Some of you were drafted or enlisted, and served our country proudly. Would you stand up for your friend, neighbor, or family member, that refused to serve on these basis???? Do you feel that you served, to protect their rights as Americans????

God bless you all and please don't let this become an argument. Thank you all for your HONEST answer. Oakie

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Comments

  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,229 ✭✭✭✭

    I respect those like Cassius Clay who stood for their convictions. Those who fled or hid behind phony medical or school deferments get none.

    That said, I think Carter’s pardon was the right thing to do. At the time, I was going into the USN, and it did not sit right, but the kinder and gentler me of today is more forgiving.

    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 24,228 ******

    Same here, butchdog. My number was 28. I hated to see the mail man coming.

  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭✭

    Didn't serve as I was 4f . Deaf men don't do well in the jungle. Knew folks on both sides. Like all of us ..... flawed human beings . I suspect the dodgers punish theirselves.

    cry Havoc and let slip  the dogs of war..... 
  • FrogdogFrogdog Member Posts: 2,437 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21

    Comment rescinded. On second thought, I think I agree with Warbirds (comment below). Some of y’all were there. We’ll leave it to you to judge.

  • WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 16,589 ✭✭✭✭

    I think this is one of those events that really has to be judged by the generation that lived it.


    I didn’t live it.

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭

    I had no use for them in `1971 and still don't. I was injured in a training accident that year and declared unfit for service which ended my military commitments.

  • Wild TurkeyWild Turkey Member Posts: 2,275 ✭✭✭

    Grandad served in WWI, Dad in WWII so felt it was my turn. Got ROTC commission fall of '72, my class of new Signal Corps lieutenants was the first not to be sent to Vietnam. I served three years active duty, then in the Army Reserve until I retired.

    I once told a captain who received a Silver Star for continuing to lead his platoon after being badly wounded in an ambush that I wondered how I would have handled combat. His reply was, "It's not worth knowing."

    The more I learn about the reasons and excuses for the decisions made at "Echelons above reality" the more I direct my anger at the politicians and Generals behind those decisions. It is not for me to judge those who chose another path. Our lives are shaped by choices made and we all must live with the results.

  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 13,063 ✭✭✭✭

    Wild Turkey: Everybody wonders how they'd react in actual combat. And everybody reacts differently. In my case, the first few times were terrifying. The next dozen or three were scary. And then I quit counting after half a million rounds fired at me and it became just another day at work. If I had ever been wounded, it probably would have been different, I grant you.

    It also would have been different if I had been in ground combat. Flying is a separate environment.

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • Ruger4meRuger4me Member, Moderator Posts: 2,588 ******

    I volunteered to serve just a month before Jimmy was elected and served my 4 years under him... I considered him the worst president and CIC ever until more recent Presidents we have/had... Draft dodgers were far and few between my circle of friends at the time so didn't really think much of them either way, but as others have said they have had to live with their choices, I made mine.

  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 31,156 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21

    The draft ended in 1973. I am not sure how I feel about those who would not serve when called. I think those who were physically able but objected to the taking of life could have still honorably served their country. There are literally thousands of non combat jobs in our military

  • Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 2,389 ✭✭✭✭

    I was 18 when the draft ended and didn't get a #. Prior to that I was ready to enlist. I'll leave the choice to forgive, up to those who served.

  • montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 55,109 ******

    Forgive them ? NO!!

  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 24,228 ******

    About 2002, a DOD man came to the factory where I worked. He was following up on a former co-worker who had applied for a job that required a security clearance and want to talk to me.

    When I went to meet him, I said " If this is about my draft card, that thing disintegrated in my wallet years ago."

    He didn't think that was funny.

  • OakieOakie Member Posts: 39,048 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone for your opinions and sacrifices. I didn't mean to stir up any bad memories for some of you, I was just curious on your thoughts about this subject.

    I guess I kind of answered my own question, when I stated," Do you think you served to protect their rights as Americans." They fled to Canada to avoid the draft, so they are not Americans in my opinion. God Bless the American soldiers. Oakie

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 64,423 ******

    My father was a conscientious objector, but was relieved of his obligation during Vietnam because he was getting his master's degree anyway. I have talked with him about it several times and have had a hard time reconciling his thoughts on it. He says he could never have taken a life, just couldn't do it. I struggle with this. His younger brother served for a short time in the army but was discharged when he was diagnosed with diabetes.

    I registered with the selective service when I was 18 and would have happily served, if I had been called up. That was when we had just gone to war in the gulf, so it was a possibility I was going to be, at least to my 18 year old mind. But I enrolled in college and no draft ever came up.

    Looking back on my life, I really would have benefited by serving in one of our armed forces.

    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 22,320 ✭✭✭✭

    Both my Dad and Uncle were in the post Korean War / pre-Vietnam Army. Both were too old for the draft. A family friend that taught me to hunt and shoot was a conscientious objector (religious beliefs) that went to Vietnam as an unarmed Navy Medic supporting the Marines.

    I went into the Army Reserves after graduating High School in 1993. I did 6 years active Reserves + 2 inactive as a mechanic, and got out. The Army gave me a good kick the *, that helped me get through college. Having that experience was helpful working as a contractor in Iraq at the end of the war and in Africa. E4 for life!

  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭✭

    After serious thought and rethought I feel I need to clarify my response . I knew lots of folks who really didn't want to go but did so anyway . It was part of their responsibilities as a citizen . I respect and value them for this sacrifice.

    One of my high school history teachers skipped out to Canada to avoid the draft. Not a popular move in a city that was/ is home to a major air force base . Didnt think it was the thing to do then and still don't.

    A classs mates father, a major in the air force was shot down and was a POW for about 6 years.

    cry Havoc and let slip  the dogs of war..... 
  • elubsmeelubsme Member Posts: 1,388 ✭✭✭

    If those who have served since the Declaration Of Independence was declared had cut and ran, We would all be speaking German, Japanese, Russian. That is, if we were allowed to live under their tyranny. Pastor Martin Neimoller said it best, look him up. The Sissies made their choice and I made mine. They have to live with theirs, they know what they did. No, I do not forgive them and neither do my brothers who didn't come home.

    BTW, I DO BELIEVE ON MY MOTHERS GRAVE MANY P.O.W.'S WERE/ARE BEING HELD IN CAPTIVITY. JUST LIKE THE CHINESE DID AFTER THE KOREAN CONFLICT.

  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,229 ✭✭✭✭

    With all due respect, elubsme, the last war we fought where there was a real threat of invasion of the Continental US and the overthrow of our government was the war of 1812.

    The remaining wars of the 19th century and all wars of the 20th and 21st century were engaged for political or economic reasons.

    Neither Germany, Japan, nor the Soviet Union ever had the capability of taking over the US. Yes, the Soviets could have destroyed much of the US, but once the destruction occurred, we still would never have been occupied.

    Do not get me wrong. I have nothing but respect for those who sacrificed life and limb in our armed forces in wars to protect the political and/or economic interests of the United States. I also recognize that many or most of these wars, while they protected our way of life, did not have much to do with protecting our freedom.

    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 24,228 ******

    The Army of Northern Agression invaded Virginia in 1861. They had to draft immigrants to man their army.

    I suppose we'd have to draft immigrants to man our army, today.

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭✭

    Not Continental USA but believe Alaska Highway was joint venture with Canadians because real fear the Japs would invade USA. They did knock on the door in Aleutians.----------------Ray

  • elubsmeelubsme Member Posts: 1,388 ✭✭✭

    There were many possibilities in the first World War and WW-II. Without our help and support Germany would have conquered Europe and eventually became strong enough to attack and take over the U.S. If not, Hitler and the Japanese Empire surely would have done so in the second world war after they had the rest of the world under their control. I do agree with you that political and economical gain had a lot to do with it. Even more so today. I fear for our country's future more than ever today. Ed

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 64,423 ******

    Even if Germany had been successful in their European campaign, occupation of the US was not only not on their agenda, it was not in the realm of possibility.

    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,516 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25

    Was not Germany very close to developing the Atomic bomb( Heavy water) and a jet bomber to deliver it? At the Point, Westy loaned me to Werner Von Braun (Redstone Arsenal) for a day. Took him to the Ordinance Lab to lecture cadets. We grabbed a lot of those brilliant minds after the war. Given a little more time, who knows what might have happened.--------------------------Ray

  • JunkballerJunkballer Member Posts: 8,816 ✭✭✭✭

    That's exactly why we should never fight to a stalemate, if we're going to fight then lets kick *. In a stalemate the weaker actually is the winner.

    "Never do wrong to make a friend----or to keep one".....Robert E. Lee

  • nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,774 ******

    There was a TV show in 1975 about a hippie/musician, his step-daughter, his girlfriend and his hippie friends, all of whom were living in Canada. I don't recall anyone in the show saying so specifically, but I had the impression that these characters were in Canada to avoid the draft.

  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,469 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25

    The "brains" behind the Iraq War, Dick Cheney, could have gone to 'Nam. He got five deferments. Cheney never served in the military.

    And the man he talked in to starting up the illegal Iraq War, George Bush, flew fighter jets during the Vietnam War. George flew over Mobile Alabama, he was in the Air Force Reserve. George never crossed the Pacific during the war, but he looked good in the uniform. Rich kids got in to the Army Reserve, or Air Force Reserve, knowing they would not be sent to the war.


    George Bush the First's VP Dan Quayle was in the Army Reserve in Indiana during the Vietnam War.

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