DRAFT DODGING

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The diagnosis came two years after Trump had been declared available for service and passed a physical exam.


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On Wednesday, The Times reported that a Queens podiatrist who rented office space from Fred Trump, the president's father, might have given the president his diagnosis as a courtesy to his father. Trump, however, wasn't the only young man who managed to avoid being sent to Vietnam because he belonged to an influential family who could afford him a college education — or a favorable medical diagnosis.

Draft deferment wasn't uncommon during the Vietnam era — but it frequently benefited a specific group of young men, particularly those who had the means to afford a college education or enough family influence to obtain a deferment.

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Read more: Democratic senator calls Trump 'Cadet Bone Spurs' during fiery speech on the shutdown's impact on the military. David Cortright, a scholar and peace activist, found that more than half of the 27 million American men eligible to be drafted during the Vietnam era were deferred, exempted, or disqualified.


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Young men could typically avoid the draft by being in college, getting married, having children, or being diagnosed with a medical condition that made them unable to serve. According to a report by the American Economic Review, the college-enrollment rate among young American men rose — and then fell — abruptly between and According to the report, many have said these patterns resulted from draft deferments.

This led to the majority of those who served in Vietnam to come from low-income families, a point made in by the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam prisoner of war. That is wrong. Elliot Ackerman, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, wrote in a Time magazine article that "student deferments and various loopholes most often exclusively leveraged by the well-off, or influential, the brunt of that conflict fell to America's poorest, most marginalized citizens, creating a toxic social rift.

draft dodger

Notable politicians, such as Joe Biden and Dick Cheney, also received multiple draft deferments. Biden received draft deferments because of his college education.

Once he was out of college, he received a deferment for an asthma condition. Like Trump, Cheney received five draft deferments — four for college and one for being a father. This made him "available immediately for military service. Months later, Lyndon B. Johnson said draft calls would be doubled, meaning married men without children, previously exempted from the draft, could now be drafted, but married men with children were exempt.

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Soon after, Cheney was classified 3-A by the Selective Service because his wife was now pregnant with their first child. Other young men didn't avoid the draft but had strings pulled to be assigned to noncombat zones, such as Germany and Korea, or other areas of the military. Click the images to go to a gallery of Draft Resistance-Seattle photographs and documents. Demonstrators burning draft cards outside the Selective Service Office in Seattle, c.

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Copyright c Fred Lonidier. Courtesy of Fred Lonidier Collection.

Joe Biden's Draft Record Looks a Lot Like Donald Trump's. Do Democrats Care? – InsideSources

This page includes a short history, documents, and over two hundred photographs of the draft resistance movement in the Northwest. Click images on the sidebar to explore Vietnam-era draft resistance photographs and documents, or scroll down to read a short history of the movement both regionally and nationally.

Special thanks to Fred Lonidier for donating images and documents from his private collection. This is part of the Vietnam War Special Section. Protest to conscription has been a feature of all American wars, since the Spanish-American War in and continuing through the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

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