An hour ago I couldn’t have told you who Richard Blumenthal is. Now I know he’s Connecticut’s Attorney General and is being accused of lying about serving in Vietnam. (He said he served in Vietnam when in fact he was stateside in the Marine Reserve.)
Hearing all the talk about Vietnam, the draft, the deferments, the reserves, etc., sure brought up a lot of old memories. It was my generation that fought that war. It was my friends and relatives worrying about draft status, lottery numbers, alternative service, etc. Nobody wanted to fight and possibly die in a war we thought was somewhere between ill advised and just plain stupid. And everybody used every legal maneuver available to avoid active service in Vietnam.
So I understand what Blumenthal was thinking and doing back then. I can even understand, almost, how details of one’s personal history might occasionally get blurred in later years. But when you decide to run for public office, the first thing you do is make sure your record is absolutely accurate (for better or worse) and then never, ever lie about it.
I suppose it’s possible he “misspoke” as he claims. But I’ll bet most men who were of draft age during the Vietnam war are acutely aware of where and whether they served.