American military veterans got to hear from the major presidential candidates this week as both men addressed the national Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering in Reno, Nev. Neither man has served in the military. President Obama was a young boy during the Vietnam War.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, turned 18 in 1965. During the next five years, he used several deferments to avoid the draft. In a 1994 interview with the Boston Herald, he said, "I was not planning on signing up for the military. It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam."
As with other issues, Romney's recollections appear to change over time. In a 2007 interview, he said, "I longed in many respects to be in Vietnam and representing our country there, and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting."
Veterans have a right to ask why his story has changed.
JOHN BAER, STILLWATER