Los Angeles Times
Echoes of Vietnam
Re “Trump says he won’t back down,” July 20
American males who came of age during the Vietnam War and who have Donald Trump’s history of draft evasion should want to avoid being compared to Sen. John McCain ( R- Ariz.). Contrary to what Trump said, it wasn’t McCain’s capture that made him a hero; it was his heroic behavior during his captivity.
Growing up in the 1960s, in the shadow of the draft and the unpopular and unnecessary involvement in a Southeast Asian civil war, was very difficult. Some young men bravely participated in the war; others boldly and bravely refused to participate; while others, like Trump, developed medical conditions after exhausting their student deferments.
Medical deferments were not easy to come by. It took more than flat feet or colorblindness— which makes me think that a medical deferment from military service should also excuse one from serving as commander in chief.