A little more than a month ago, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Attorney General and odds-on favorite to succeed Chris Dodd as Senator from Connecticut was caught lying about his military service. He claimed that he served in Vietnam when the closest he came to Vietnam was walking past a Vietnamese take out restaurant last time he was in Manhattan.
For example at 2008 ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Blumenthal rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.
“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
Blumenthal is still telling tales this time about his draft lottery number. During the Vietnam war 18-year-old were subject to a draft lottery. Based on the lottery every day of the year was assigned a number. The number assigned to your birthday was the order of people being drafted.
I missed the draft lottery by one year, but many of my friends received a number. It became like a tattoo on their brain. If you ask anybody today what their number was, it will be on the tip of their tongue. Heck I even remember my brothers number was 185 because I double checked every day to see what number had come up (they got to 182 at the end of the year which was good news for my dad, cause my mom always said that he would have to go and say he was my brother).
The only person alive who participated in the lottery and claims he does not remember his lottery number is Connecticut AG Blumenthal and its gotten him to more trouble.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sat down with a reporter for a local news outlet this week in an effort to move beyond an issue that has bedeviled his Senate campaign: his claims about his military service during the Vietnam War.
But the interview, with The Connecticut Mirror, a news Web site, raised more questions about that chapter in his life, as Mr. Blumenthal offered a version of events that was sometimes at odds with historians’ accounts of the period.
At one point in the interview, Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat, said he joined the Marine Corps Reserve in April 1970 knowing that reservists could be activated for service in Vietnam. “I did not want to avoid service,” he said. “I did realize reservists could be called up, and that it was something that I wanted to do.
But military experts said there was no expectation that reserve units would be activated at the time Mr. Blumenthal enlisted, particularly given how drastically public opinion had turned against the war.
In the interview, he discussed the number he received in the draft lottery in 1969, just a few months before he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, according to the article.
Blumenthal claimed that he didn’t remember his draft number but it had nothing to do with why he joined the reserves. His number in the December 1969 draft lottery, according to the Selective Service, was 152. People with numbers as high as 195 were eligible to be drafted that year.
David Curry, a professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, who is an expert on the Vietnam draft, said Mr. Blumenthal’s lottery number would have been cause for worry for someone who did not want to be drafted.
“I’d say he had a medium-level lottery number,” Mr. Curry said. “It’s not really a safe number. But once he joined the Reserves, he would not have been eligible for being drafted.”
Heck if that was my brother’s year and Paul was 152, my mother would have had my father’s bags packed instead.
Its hard to believe that Blumenthal didn’t remember his number. If he had forgotten he doesn’t have the memory for the Job, otherwise its just another example of Blumenthal inability to be truthful with his constituents.