Military Service

Military Service
David Buttrick Buffington Professor of Homiletics
and Liturgics, Emeritus. Vanderbilt.

Subject: Re: Military records
From Department of Defense, to Mitch Barker, September 3, 2004
Note official service records of Democrats and, then, Republicans?Records to consider as charges of “lack of patriotism” and “soft on defense” fly around this campaign season…


  • Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
    ?* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
    ?* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
    ?* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army
    ?journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
    ?* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
    ?* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
    ?* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat
    ?V, Purple Hearts.
    ?* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
    ?* Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star,
    ?* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
    ?* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.

  • Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
    ?* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven
    ?campaign ribbons.

  • Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze
    ? Stars, and Soldier’s Medal.

  • Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star
    ?? and Legion of Merit.
    ?* Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
    ?* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam;
    ??? Bronze Star with Combat V.
    ?* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
    ?* Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
    ?* Chuck Robb: Vietnam
    ?* Howell Heflin: Silver Star
    ?* George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
    ?* Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but
    ?received #311.
    ?* Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
    ?* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
    ?* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18
    ?* Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul


    ?* Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by
    ?? marriage.
    ?* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
    ?* Tom Delay: did not serve.
    ?* Roy Blunt: did not serve.
    ?* Bill Frist: did not serve.
    ?* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
    ?* Rick Santorum: did not serve.
    ?* Trent Lott: did not serve.
    ?* John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
    ?* Jeb Bush: did not serve.
    ?* Karl Rove: did not serve.
    ?* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. “Bad knee.” The man who attacked
    ?? Max Cleland’s patriotism.
    ?* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
    ?* Vin Weber: did not serve.
    ?* Richard Perle: did not serve.
    ?* Douglas Feith: did not serve.
    ?* Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
    ?* Richard Shelby: did not serve.
    ?* Jon Kyl: did not serve.
    ?* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
    ?* Christopher Cox: did not serve.
    ?* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
    ?* Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
    ?* George W. Bush: failed to complete six-year National Guard
    ?assignment; re-assigned from Texas to Alabama National Guard so he could??? campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failing to show up for
    ?required medical exam and duties, was stripped of pilot status.
    ?* Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role
    ?making movies.
    ?* B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in
    ?* Phil Gramm: did not serve.
    ?* John McCain: US Navy 1958-81; Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of
    ?Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
    ?* Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
    ?* John M. McHugh: did not serve.
    ?* JC Watts: did not serve.
    ?* Jack Kemp: did not serve. “Knee problem,” although continued in NFL
    ?for 8 years.
    ?* Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
    ?* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
    ?* George Pataki: did not serve.
    ?* Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
    ?* John Engler: did not serve.
    ?* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
    ?* Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.

?Pundits & Preachers

?* Sean Hannity: did not serve.
?* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a ‘pilonidal cyst.’)
?* Bill O’Reilly: did not serve.
?* Michael Savage: did not serve.
?* George Will: did not serve.
?* Chris Matthews: did not serve.
?* Paul Gigot: did not serve.
?* Bill Bennett: did not serve.
?* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
?* John Wayne: did not serve.
?* Bill Kristol: did not serve.
?* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
?* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
?* Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
?* Ralph Reed: did not serve.
?* Michael Medved: did not serve.
?* Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
?* Ted Nugent: did not serve.
?* William Sloane Coffin, Jr:? Major, US Army, WWII.

How very interesting. Not that I think it is necessary for being an effective leader to have served (doesn’t hurt), I find it particularly interesting that all the people screaming for war have never served and have no bloody idea what it is like to put their lives on the line.