The Democrats, supported by their allies in the old big media, never tired of highlighting Vice President Dick Cheney’s absence of military service based on student draft deferments. But how much have we heard about Senator Joseph Biden’s military service -- or lack thereof?
Biden turns out to have received the same number of student draft deferments during the Vietnam War as did Cheney -- five. Then, according to this quote from one of his campaign spokespersons, David Wade,
“As a result of a physical exam on April 5, 1968, Joe Biden was classified I-Y and disqualified from service because of asthma as a teenager.”
But wait, in his memoir, according to the same Washington Times story linked above,
“In ‘Promises to Keep,’ a memoir that was published last year and became an instant best-seller after he was tapped as Mr. Obama's running mate, Mr. Biden never mentions his asthma, recounting an active childhood, work as a lifeguard and football exploits in high school.”
I took the same Armed Forces physical exam that Joe took at about the same time in the process of enlisting. There was a box on the form where each subject checked off his/her maladies. Asthma was one of those boxes. I didn’t check it, because I didn’t have it.
But a friend named “Don,” whom I’d known since age 4, did have asthma. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and didn’t check the asthma box. He wanted to serve. He retired after 20 years with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Another friend, “David,” had asthma when he joined the Navy in the Post-Vietnam era, and served with distinction for six years. He just didn’t check the box either.
So, let’s see if we have this straight: Young Joe Biden is a high school football player (anyone experience two-a-days in August heat?), lifeguard (which means he swam), received five student deferments that saw him through law school, and then he checks the box marked “asthma” and gets a medical deferment at age 25. Curious, is it not?
There will be no military experience edge for Senator Biden in the VP debate. He’s no G.I. Joe.