McCain's slam at Trump over draft deferment

Sen. John McCain has taken an obvious, strong, personal dislike of President Trump.

The most recent sign of this personal spat came to light in the October 22 online editions of FNC, the N.Y. Post,  and many other periodicals, when Sen. McCain called Trump to task for using bone spurs to evade military service during the Vietnam War.

Sen. John McCain took some veiled shots at President Trump over the weekend – slamming high income draft dodgers like himself for using their wealth to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

"One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur," the Arizona lawmaker told C-SPAN3 in an interview that aired Sunday.

"That is wrong. That is wrong," he said. "If we're going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve."

McCain, a Republican, didn't actually name Trump – but the "bone spur" reference appeared to be a direct jab.

The president received several draft deferments during the war, including one in 1968 for bone spurs in his heels.

Gramps McCain is all wet on this criticism, and I will state why by telling my own personal story.

In 1968, when the Vietnam War was at its height and the U.S. Armed Forces still ran a draft, I commenced studies at Fordham University.  In recognition of my student status, I received a student deferment from the draft.

About midway in my university career, I recognized the essential injustice of using a student deferment to evade military service, and accordingly, I contacted my draft board and asked them to cancel my student deferment and register my draft status as 1A.

The draft board honored my request, and in due course, I was summoned to report to a military facility on Summer Street in Boston for my draft physical.  I was at great risk of instantly curtailing my studies because I could have been drafted forthwith and sent on my merry way to a basic training facility before nightfall.

But as it was, the draft physical noted my case of flat feet and re-registered my as draft status 1Y – eligible to be inducted into military service, but only during a time of a declared national emergency, such as a Declaration of War.

I could happily live with this deferment.  Because flat feet can happen to anybody.  All of us are conceived and born in the same fashion, and all of us go through nature's own draft lottery, where Mother Nature picks out some of us but not others for minor or major bodily difficulties and handicaps.

Such was my lot in life.  God or God's nature (in the parlance of Thomas Jefferson, according to one's preference) decided to impose upon me the minor handicap of going through life with flat feet – and, in Donald Trump's case, inflicted upon him the (presumably) minor problem of bone spurs in his feet.

In my case, I was able to return to Fordham University immediately, with a clean, clear conscience.

Neither Trump nor I created or enacted the laws that governed the military draft in those years.  We are not responsible for the U.S. Armed Forces, in their collective wisdom, applying public law and determining that both of us were marginally physically unfit to serve.

In short, neither Donald Trump nor I attempted to evade military service.

Gramps McCain is all wrong, all wet, for attacking Donald Trump for being excused from military service on account of having bone spurs.

James A. Nollet is a retired FDA chemist living in retirement as an expat in Poland.