When he was thinking about running for the 2012 presidential nomination Donald Trump was interviewed on Good Day NY about avoiding military service in the Vietnam War. He claimed that he wasn’t drafted because he had a high draft lottery number, which was a
lie misstatement. Trump avoided Vietnam because he a college deferment for four years and then a medical deferment.
From 1969 until the end of the Vietnam War Draft the selective service, which conducted the draft would execute a two stage lottery. The first stage would be a draw of numbers from 1-366 representing the days of the year. That stage would determine the order of people drafted based on their birthday (1=January 1st, etc.). The second stage was of all the letters of the alphabet to determine based on the man’s last name (women weren’t drafted) within each date what order they would be picked.
The lottery was a stomach wrenching time. I remember my brother’s year they drafted up to two numbers before his lottery number (it was wrenching for my dad because my mother of blessed memory said if my brother was drafted she would force my dad to go instead. My dad pointed out that he already served his time during World War Two, but my mom said it didn’t matter).
On April 29, 2011 on the NY Fox affiliate Trump was asked how he avoided serving in Vietnam (see video below)
“I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number. I’ll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life.
“I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.”
The first draft lottery was a televised in prime time, However, as The Smoking Gun revealed in 2011, Donald Trump never had to worry about the lottery.
Selective Service records reveal that Trump, born with both a silver spoon and a foot in his mouth avoided the draft because of four student deferments and a medical deferment.
By the time the Selective Service ran the first lottery Trump had received four student deferments. Then in September 1968 (over a year before the first lottery) he received a classification of 1-Y which meant he was “available for military service, but qualified only in case of war or national emergency.” While the Vietnam War was a real war, it was never a declared one, so men with that designation were safe from the draft
1-Y was usually given to registrants with medical conditions that were limiting but not disabling. In other words by the time he finally “got” a lottery number (which was high) he was medically ineligible and didn’t have to worry. Trump never had to as he said, watch, “as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.“
Trump obtained his first two Class 2-S student deferments in June 1964 and December 1965, when he was student at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was briefly reclassified as 1-A–or “available fo military service”–in late-November 1966, but that classification was switched back to 2-S three weeks later.
“In fact, the December 1969 draft lottery occurred about 18 months after Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied business at the Wharton School.
So, while Trump claimed in the TV interview he would “never forget” being at Wharton watching the draft numbers being drawn, the 64-year-old Trump seems to have
lied misstated the truth.
Another 2-S deferment is dated January 16, 1968, just months before his graduation from UPenn (to which he transferred following his sophomore year at Fordham).
Following his UPenn graduation, Trump–no longer qualified for a 2-S deferment–was again briefly classified as available for service on July 9. However, three months later, on October 15, his classification was switched to 1-Y, which was given to men deemed qualified for military service “only in time of national emergency.”
The 1-Y classification came a month after Trump underwent an “Armed Forces Physical Examination,” according to Selective Service records, which note the results of the exam as “DISQ.” While the military records do not further detail why Trump was granted the 1-Y deferment, a 1992 biography of the businessman by journalist Wayne Barrett reported that Trump received a medical deferment following the September 17, 1968 exam.
Trump’s 1-Y classification stayed in effect until February 1, 1972 when it was changed to a 4-F classification (which covered registrants not qualified for military service). The change in classification was likely prompted by the military’s December 1971 decision to abolish the 1-Y classification.
The Selective Service records also include a copy of the registration card signed by Trump in June 1964, 10 days after he turned 18. The possible future Commander-in-Chief, it turns out, has birthmarks on both his heels.’
Trump cannot be criticized for doing what he could to avoid serving in Vietnam, to be honest may people his age did. But because he actively tried to avoid serving (an lied about it) he should be extra thankful for the brave heroes who did serve, many of whom served because they were drafted instead of him.
On Saturday Donald Trump said John McCain wasn’t a war hero:
I don’t like losers,” Trump said about McCain. Moderator Frank Luntz described McCain — a former naval pilot taken prisoner for almost six years during the Vietnam War — as a “war hero.” The real estate mogul then took a swing at McCain, whom he said he had supported in 2008. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said mockingly. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
Sorry Mr. Trump, but you are an idiot. What John McCain did after he came home is irrelevant. And McCain wasn’t “captured” because he went into the wrong liquor at 2am one night.
McCain was serving as a Navy pilot who was shot down over Hanoi. He spent roughly five-and-half years in a notorious North Vietnamese prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was repeatedly tortured. He spent two of those years in solitary confinement. He refused to allow the North Vietnamese to release him early when they wanted to because his father was an admiral. But McCain refused to be released in front of the others who were held longer then him. Because of his refusal, the North Vietnamese increased his torture. There is no other way to put it McCain is a hero.
On Sunday TV appearances Donald Trump refused to apologize:
Trump said on “Fox and Friends Weekend” today that those calls are “total nonsense” and pointed out that he’s still leading in the polls.
“This was picked up by the opponents that aren’t registering in the polls,” Trump said. “Everybody knows it, and everybody sees it.”
Trump explained that he’s upset with McCain because the Arizona senator has done a terrible job at helping veterans.
“If you’re a veteran, you’re treated like a third-class citizen. So John McCain should not be proud of his record with respect to taking care of veterans,” Trump said. “Like all politicians, he’s all talk and he’s no action.”
Not only does Donald Trump need to apologize to McCain, he should apologize and thank every single hero (yes hero) who served in the Vietnam War while thanks to his rich daddy with connections he got to stay home.
Donald Trump is a coward. Not because he avoided the war, but because he is a bully who puts down others. Who tries to diminish the service of others because he feels inferior. Why do you think he keeps throwing around how much money he has…it’s nothing but a lame way feel superior. But to quote Bill Murray in the movie classic Ghostbusters, “Yes it’s true. This man has no dick.”
Below is a clip of the 2011 Trump interview, it was originally posted at LiveLeak but for the purposes of this post the the nine minute clip has been down to the relevant two and a half minutes.