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September 06, 2004

Kerry's Reserve Service and Student Deferments

This Swiftvet discussion forum
is about Kerry's service in the Reserves. My reading of it is that Kerry probably didn't evade duties as a reserve officer after he left active service, because the Navy was very flexible in what it required of reserve officers and didn't really need Kerry to do any drilling or any real work. Kerry stayed in the reserves till 1978, but probably just because there was no reason to quit, since he wasn't required to do anything. Of course, if Kerry released his secret military records, they might turn up something.

Kerry's reserve service is nonetheless worth mentioning, because it sounds similar to the last part of George Bush's National Guard service. The National Guard didn't need Bush to do much, just as the Navy didn't need Kerry to do much. Rather than impose make-work on them, the military let them go away and do other things, so long as they were available if some real need arose.

Another thread, still in progress, is on Kerry's student deferments. No comment linked to evidence has been posted yet, but it appears that Kerry must have gotten student deferments during his four years of college. What I don't know yet is whether he got them automatically or whether he had to apply for them; it seems they were routine in any case.

The student deferments don't reflect badly on Kerry at all-- it is quite reasonable to go to college rather than volunteer for the army or accept being drafted, and I wouldn't hold it against anybody even in a war like World War II. Bush Senior volunteered and went to war first, college later, but it's OK not to volunteer.

Where the student deferments are relevant,though, is exposing Kerry's hypocrisy. Democrats heavily criticize Cheney for getting student deferments. Why then don't they criticize Kerry? (and, of course, Edwards, who was, I think, in college during the last part of the Vietnam War and certainly had the opportunity to volunteer out of high school)

Posted by erasmuse at September 6, 2004 05:24 PM

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