Notes: I was in U.S. Army Reserves about the same time George W. Bush was in the Air National Guard and later, apparently through a transfer, in the inactive Reserves. I too eventually ended up in the inactive Reserves.
I may remember the zeitgeist of that time better than he does. The draft was full-on and so were war protests. We had had three administrations lying to us about the progress of the war and unable to articulate a solid reason for being there. I only knew one person who said he wanted to go to Vietnam. The rest of us didn't.
However, my friends and I respected those who ended up over there, while despising the politicians of the day for lying to us. Most of us also respected those bold enough to risk going to jail in protest. The rest of us went along and tried to finesse the system if we could. This is what Bush and I did.
I have no regrets about it except that 50,000 fellow countrymen were sent to their deaths by spineless administrations concerned about their re-electability and an absent Congress unwilling to do anything until Americans took to the streets.
So, it kind of irks me to see Dubya playing soldier when he didn't want to be one when he really could have been one. I'm talking about the flight suits and the military windbreakers he now wears for photo-ops. I understand that it's all about creating an image and getting votes, but I don't like it against the context of his avoiding Vietnam.
Please don't point out to me that he's commander in chief. We're talking about pure photo-ops and image here. 12.07.03